Eric Jacobson

Lead By Example

In General Leadership Skills, Leading By Example on November 8, 2009 at 8:59 am

There is nothing more powerful for a leader to do than to lead by setting a good example.

So, here are 15 things you can do to be an effective and successful leader:

1. Praise when compliments are earned.

2. Be decisive.

3. Say “Thank You” and sincerely mean it.

4. Communicate clearly.

5. Listen carefully.

6. Teach something new to your team members.

7. Word hard and lend a hand when deadlines are tight.

8. Show respect for everyone on your team.

9. Follow through when you promise to do something.

10. Allow learning to happen when mistakes are made.

11. Allow prudent autonomy.

12. Respond to questions quickly and fully.

13. Return e-mail and phone calls promptly.

14. Take an interest in your employees and their important personal milestone events.

15. Give credit where credit is due.

And, last but not least, be humble!

How To Step Back To Lead Forward

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership Books on October 30, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Can you step back to lead forward?

That is the key question for you to answer as you start to read Kevin Cashman’s book, The Pause Principle.

Because, Cashman firmly believes that as a leader, you need to pause to lead forward.

What sleep is to the mind and body, pause is to leadership and innovation,” explains Cashman.

He goes on to say:

  • Pause transforms management into leadership and the status quo into new realities.
  • Pause, the natural capability to step back  in order to move forward with greater clarity, momentum, and impact, holds the creative power to reframe and refresh how we see ourselves and our relationships, our challenges, our capacities, our organizations and missions within a larger context.

In his book, Cashman teaches you the value of using pause points to:

  • Build self-awareness and clarity of purpose
  • Explore new ideas
  • Risk experimentation
  • Question, listen, reflect and synthesize
  • Challenge the status quo, within and around you

He further teaches you how to:

  • Be on-purpose
  • Consider inside-out and outside-in dynamics
  • Be authentic

Taking time to pause is a key difference between managers and leaders says Cashman.

Other core differences between effective managers and exceptional leaders, explains Cashman, include:

  • “Effective managers focus on speed and transaction, while exceptional leaders focus on significance and transformation.”
  • “Effective managers seek control and process, while exceptional leaders seek contribution and meaningful purpose.”
  • “At its core management is about content, and leadership is about deeper, broader context.”

And when you have finished the book, you’ll understand the importance of stepping back to lead forward, because:

  • Pause is the conscious, intentional process to move from control, content, and speed to the higher order principles of contribution, context, and significance.”

And, for those organizations with demanding speed and action as part of their culture, Cashman recommends that they:

  • Meet the demands of speed and action with about 80% of your time and energy.  Then consciously step back and embrace the most important, the most complex part of your job with about 20% of pauseful, deep reflective time and energy.

And, specifically ask these questions as your engage your colleagues:

  • What do we see?
  • What might be possible if we did x, y, or z?
  • What if we did this or that?
  • What if we saw this through the customers’ eyes?
  • Why are we doing this?
  • What might be possible if we saw our product and organization with new eyes?

Cashman is the author of six leadership books including the bestseller, Leadership from the Inside Out.

How To Make Decisions Based On The Real Results You Want

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Making Decisions on October 29, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Many years ago, I worked with a person who could not make decisions.  Neither big nor small decisions. That indecisiveness paralyzed our business in many ways.

Unfortunately, the book, Decide:  Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, and Lead by Example, had not been published.  Had it, I would have shared it with my co-worker.

  • Decide, published this past February, teaches readers how to make better decisions based on the real results they want to experience.

The author, Steve McClatchy, explains how to use the two forms of human motivation — Gain, or Prevent Pain, to make more effective decisions.  For example, he demonstrates how inserting a Gain task in the middle of a Prevent Pain day can give you the energy you need to move forward and make the Prevent Pain tasks take less time through motivation.

Deeper into the book, you’ll be reminded about not only the problems with procrastination, but also about the benefits of procrastination, and, if you are a procrastinator, how you can make better use of those benefits.

I particularly found useful the chapter on Managing Interruptions.   McClatchy explains that a typical day for a worker interruptions rob us of valuable think time and time needed to make effective decisions:

  • Interruptions by things that aren’t important and recovery time – 28%
  • Productive content creation, including writing emails – 25%
  • Meetings (in person, phone, video, online) – 20%
  • Searching through content: web, paperwork, and digital communications – 15%
  • Thinking and reflecting – 12%

McClatchy is a speaker, trainer, consultant, writer, and entrepreneur.  He is the owner and Founder of Alleer Training & Consulting, a firm focused on helping companies and individuals improve performance and achieve maximum results. Decide is his first book.


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