Eric Jacobson

Archive for 2017|Yearly archive page

How To Run A Meeting

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Meetings on July 11, 2017 at 9:49 am

Here are some great tips from authors Michael Mankins and Eric Garton about how to run meetings that work:

  • Be sure a meeting is appropriate. Meetings are great for gathering input and coming to a group decision. They aren’t so good for drafting a strategy document, for example. Ensure a meeting is the best way to get the job done.
  • Set a clear — and selective — agenda. A clear agenda communicates priorities. It also tells people what they can safely postpone or ignore.
  • Insist on advance preparation.
  • Practice good meeting hygiene. Start on time. Clarify the purpose of every meeting. Spell out people’s roles in decisions. Create a decision log that captures every decision made in a meeting.
  • End early, particularly if the meeting is going nowhere.

Mankins and Garton are the authors of the book, Time, Talent, Energy.

How To Be A Perceptive Listener

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Leadership Skills, Listening Skills on July 5, 2017 at 7:48 am

“Perceptive listening requires you to be totally focused, completely mindful, and perceptive of the conversation — about what is spoken and what remains unspoken,” explains John Jantsch, author of the book, Duct Tape Selling.

He adds, “Perceptive listening reveals things that a distracted or even mostly active conversation can’t reveal.”

To be a perceptive listener, ensure you hear and interpret the words as they’re said, and also consider what the person isn’t saying. What they might really be thinking, and how they are acting as they speak.

16 Ways To Build Trust

In Building Trust, Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Books, Trust Building on July 2, 2017 at 10:40 am

You can’t lead if your employees, team or followers don’t trust you.

Building trust takes energy, effort and constant attention to how you act.

To help build trust, follow these 16 tips, recommended by author Susan H. Shearouse:

  1. Be honest
  2. Keep commitments and keep your word
  3. Avoid surprises
  4. Be consistent with your mood
  5. Be your best
  6. Demonstrate respect
  7. Listen
  8. Communicate
  9. Speak with a positive intent
  10. Admit mistakes
  11. Be willing to hear feedback
  12. Maintain confidences
  13. Get to know others
  14. Practice empathy
  15. Seek input from others
  16. Say “thank you”

How To Be An Open Leader

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Open Leader, Open Leadership, Uncategorized on June 24, 2017 at 6:42 am


Open Leadership author Charlene Li reminds leaders to periodically ask themselves these “open leadership skills assessment” questions:

  1. Do I seek out and listen to different points of view?
  2. Do I make myself available to people at all levels of the organization?
  3. Do I actively manage how I am authentic?
  4. Do I encourage people to share information?
  5. Do I publicly admit when I am wrong?
  6. Do I update people regularly?
  7. Do I take the time to explain how decisions are being made?

Thanks for these great questions, Charlene!

Identifying Emerging Talent

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Books, Talent on June 20, 2017 at 5:58 pm

From the book, Mastering the Challenges of Leading Change, comes this useful checklist from author H. James Dallas for how to identify and develop emerging talent in your company/organization.

Dallas recommends that each question should be graded on a scale of 1 to 3, with 3 being the best. Use the questions and the scoring for you and your employee to work together toward the highest ratings across the board.

  1. Has the person demonstrated a “getting lost with confidence” mind-set?
  2. Does the person communicate with authenticity?
  3. Has the person created a strong personal brand that is recognized by colleagues of all levels?
  4. Does the person know his or her blind spots and have people watching to prevent him or her from crashing?
  5. Is the person getting exposure to executive management?
  6. Does the person seek out and seriously consider advice?
  7. Is the person building an inclusive team and sponsoring others?
  8. Is the person proactive in finding opportunities to initiate and lead change?

How To Apologize

In Apologizing, Eric Jacobson Leadership, Leadership on June 15, 2017 at 5:27 pm

The following great advice about how to apologize is from the new book, The Courage Solution, by Mindy Mackenzie. I’ll be posting a full review of the book in a few days. In the meantime, Mackenzie recommends you include these three elements when you apologize:

  1. Actually say “I’m sorry” out loud, while making eye contact, if possible.
  2. Acknowledging your error by adding the phrase “I was wrong…but more importantly, you were right.”
  3. Asking humbly, “How can I fix this?” Keep in mind that an effective apology requires you to have actually begun working on a solution by the time you get to this step.

John C. Maxwell Leadership Quotes

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, John C. Maxwell, Leadership Quotes, Uncategorized on June 2, 2017 at 9:49 am

Chat symbol and Quotation Mark

The real gems in John C. Maxwell’s book, Everyone Communicates Few Connect, are the abundant leadership and communication quotes, such as these:

  • To add value to others, one must first value others.
  • People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.
  • All good communicators get to the point before their listeners start asking, “What’s the point?”
  • The first time you say something, it’s heard. The second time, it’s recognized, and the third time it’s learned.
  • In the end, people are persuaded not by what we say, but by what they understand.
  • People pay attention when something that is said connects with something they greatly desire.

Maxwell also says that:

Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.

The book covers five principles and five practices to help readers so they can connect one-on-one, in a group, or with an audience.

How To Be Humble

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Humble Leader, Leadership, Leadership Books on May 28, 2017 at 3:31 pm

From John Blakey‘s book, The Trusted Executive, here are these four tips from Jim Collins for how to be a humble leader:

  1. Demonstrate a compelling modesty, shunning public adulation and never be boastful.
  2. Act with quiet, calm determination and motivate others through inspired standards, not inspiring charisma.
  3. Channel ambition into the company, not the self, and set up successors for even more greatness in the next generation.
  4. Look in the mirror, not out of the window, when apportioning responsibility for poor performance.

Four Words Your Customers Don’t Want To Hear

In Customer Engagement, Customer Retention, Customer Service, Eric Jacobson On Leadership on May 22, 2017 at 5:24 am

Author Harvey MacKay wrote the following spot-on advice in his column in the Kansas City Business Journal a few years ago. He wisely points out that all employees at every level should never use these four words in front of a client/customer for both obvious and perhaps not so obvious reasons:

  • Can’t — As in, “We can’t do that.”  “We can’t meet that deadline.”  Unless you honestly cannot produce and then be honest and help them find another vendor.
  • Busy — As in, “I’ll call you when I’m not so busy.”  “I’m really busy right now.” The word “busy” gives your customer the impression they are a low priority.
  • Safe — As in, “Let’s play it safe.”  Customers typically want to engage in calculated risks versus playing it safe.
  • Fear — As in, “I fear that we may be moving too fast.” That tells your customer you haven’t done your homework. MacKay writes, “Common sense, thorough research and sound advice should allay your fears to a reasonable level.”

Take a moment. Are you absolutely sure every employee in sales, production, operations, marketing, etc., is not using these words, even inadvertently, in front of your customers?

Thanks for the important reminder, Harvey MacKay!

12 Rules For How To Effectively Communicate

In Communication, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership on May 17, 2017 at 11:42 am

Here are the 12 golden rules of effective communication from Paul Falcone, as highlighted in his book, 2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals.

Always remember to:

  1. Recognize achievements and accomplishments often.
  2. Celebrate success.
  3. Deliver bad news quickly, constructively, and in a spirit of professional development.
  4. Praise in public, censure in private.
  5. Assume responsibility for problems when things go wrong, and provide immediate praise and recognition to others when things go right.
  6. Create a work environment based on inclusiveness, welcoming others’ suggestions and points of view.
  7. Listen actively, making sure that your people feel heard and understood and have a voice in terms of offering positive suggestions in the office or on the shop floor.
  8. Share information openly (to the extent possible) so that staff members understand the Why behind your reasoning and can ask appropriate questions as they continue along in their own path of career development and learning.
  9. Remember that thankfulness and appreciation are the two most important values you can share with our employees and teach them to live by: make them the core foundation of your culture.
  10. Put others’ needs ahead of your own and expect them to respond in kind (a.k.a. “selfless leadership,” otherwise known as “servant leadership”).
  11. When dealing with others’ shortcomings, always err on the side of compassion.
  12. Solicit ongoing feedback and suggestions form your team in terms of how you could do things differently, thereby stimulating creativity and innovation.
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