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Leadership Questions To Ask Everyday

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership on December 22, 2017 at 4:35 pm

I’m a big fan of the magazine, Experience Life.  Particularly the monthly Perspective column by Bahram Akradi, the founder and CEO of Life Time Fitness.

Akradi tackled self-reflection awhile back. He firmly believes the business model that if you aren’t innovating you are dying. And, to innovate, you have to regularly fine-tune both your business and your life.

What better way to do that than to ask yourself each day these four questions, says Akradi:

  1. Where did I do some good or make some progress today?
  2. Where did I let myself or others down?
  3. What can I do to keep my good habits going?
  4. What can I do to address any negative triggers or trends before they get out of hand?

Thanks Bahram for this great advice.

6 Questions To Ask Yourself Each Day

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership on November 26, 2017 at 10:57 am

One of my favorite parts of Joe Sweeney‘s book, Moving the Needle, is the section where he recommends you ask yourself these six questions before you go to bed each night:

  1. What was the best thing that happened today?
  2. What am I most grateful for today?
  3. What did I do to live my ideal day today?
  4. What is one new thing I learned today?
  5. What did I do to meet my goals today?
  6. What am I most looking forward to tomorrow?

And, by jotting down your answers to these thoughtful and positive in nature questions sets you in the right frame of mind for waking up in the morning!

Today’s Leadership Quotes

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Quotes on November 21, 2017 at 10:54 am

Some of my favorite quotes for leaders are:

  • A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit — Arnold H. Glasgow
  • I praise loudly, I blame softly — Catherine II of Russia
  • Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress — Mohandas Gandhi
  • A long dispute means that both parties are wrong — Voltaire
  • The least questioned assumptions are often the most questionable — Paul Broca

These and many more compelling quotes can be found in Susan H. Shearouse’s book, Conflict 101.

Goal For 2018: Find A Mentor

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Leadership, Mentoring on November 18, 2017 at 10:54 am

Having a mentor is one of the best things you can do to advance your career as a leader. So, decide today to secure a mentor who will work with you during 2018. Make that one of your New Year’s resolutions.

A mentor can benefit leaders new to their leadership role and they can benefit experienced and seasoned leaders, as well.

A strong mentoring relationship allows the mentor and the mentee to develop new skills and talents, to build confidence, and to build self-awareness.

Proper mentoring takes a commitment from both parties and it takes time to develop and to reap the rewards of the relationship. Plan to work with your mentor for no less than three months, and ideally for six months or longer.

When seeking out a mentor, think about these questions:

1.  Will the relationship have good personal chemistry?

2.  Can this person guide me, particularly in the areas where I am weakest?

3.  Will this person take a genuine interest in me?

4.  Does this person have the traits and skills I want to develop?

5.  Is this a person I admire?

6.  Does this person have the time needed to properly mentor me? And, do I also have the time to devote to a mentoring relationship?

Most often, you’ll find your best mentors are not your supervisors, but instead are other individuals in your workplace, at other companies in your city, or are members of organizations to which you belong.

Before you start to search for your mentor for 2018, take some time to learn more about mentoring — how mentoring programs work most effectively and what to expect from a mentoring relationship.

One nice benefit of having mentoring as a New Year’s resolution is you’ll have a dedicated partner helping you to fulfill your resolution!

The Six Questions Leaders Should Ask Employees

In Employee Engagement, Employee Feedback, Employee Retention, Employee Satisfaction, Engaging Employees, Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Leadership on August 20, 2017 at 9:35 am

As explained in John Baldoni‘s, book, Lead With PurposeMarshall Goldsmith suggests all leaders make it a habit to regularly ask their employees these six questions:

  1. Where do you think we should be going?
  2. Where do you think you and your part of the business should be going?
  3. What do you think you’re doing well?
  4. If you were the leader, what ideas would you have for you?
  5. How can I help?
  6. What suggestions or ideas do you have for me?

How To Be A Manager With Class

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Books on July 26, 2017 at 4:59 am

AMACOM’s (of the American Management Association) sixth edition of the best-selling book, The First-Time Manager — originally published in 1981 is a must-read for new managers and leaders in business.

One of my favorite sections of the book is the one about class in a manager:

  • Class is treating people with dignity.
  • Class does not have to be the center of attention.
  • Class does not lose its cool.
  • Class does not rationalize mistakes.
  • Class is good manners.
  • Class means loyalty to one’s staff.
  • Class recognizes the best way to build oneself is to first build others.
  • Class leads by example.
  • Class does not taken action when angry.
  • Class is authentic and works hard at making actions consistent with words.

Exit Interview Questions

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Exit Interviews on July 20, 2017 at 3:11 am

As a leader, it’s critical that you understand the real reasons employees leave your company. To do that, you need to ask specific questions that may not be ones you currently include in your exit interviews.

Fortunately, Richard Finnegan, shares in his book, Rethinking Retention in Good Times and Badfour key questions you should include in your exit interviews:

  1. Why did you decide to leave us?
  2. Of all the things you’ve told me, what is the top thing that caused you to resign?
  3. It’s great that you’ve found such a good opportunity, but why did you look?
  4. What one thing could we have done that would have caused you to stay?

Your goal is to learn the most important leave reason rather than learn which three or five things contributed to your employee’s decision to leave. The four questions above will help you learn the most important reason.

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”
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