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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.

70 Ways To Be A Better Leader

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership on May 1, 2017 at 6:31 am

Back by popular demand…

The 70 tips below make for a good list for learning how to become a better leader when you don’t have a lot of time to read books about leadership.

And, if you’ve been a leader for a long time, how about taking a few minutes to run through the list and scoring yourself on how well you carry out each leadership skill?

1. Don’t micromanage

2. Don’t be a bottleneck

3. Focus on outcomes, not minutiae

4. Build trust with your colleagues before a crisis comes

5. Assess your company’s strengths and weaknesses at all times

6. Conduct annual risk reviews

7. Be courageous, quick and fair

8. Talk more about values more than rules

9. Reward how a performance is achieved and not only the performance

10. Constantly challenge your team to do better

11. Celebrate your employees’ successes, not your own

12. Err on the side of taking action

13. Communicate clearly and often

14. Be visible

15. Eliminate the cause of a mistake

16. View every problem as an opportunity to grow

17. Summarize group consensus after each decision point during a meeting

18. Praise when compliments are earned

19. Be decisive

20. Say “thank you” and sincerely mean it

21. Send written thank you notes

22. Listen carefully and don’t multi-task while listening

23. Teach something new to your team

24. Show respect for all team members

25. Follow through when you promise to do something

26. Allow prudent autonomy

27. Respond to questions quickly and fully

28. Return e-mails and phone calls promptly

29. Give credit where credit is due

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

31. Mix praise with constructive feedback for how to make improvement

32. Learn the names of your team members even if your team numbers in the hundreds

33. Foster mutual commitment

34. Admit your mistakes

35. Remove nonperformers

36. Give feedback in a timely manner and make it individualized and specific

37. Hire to complement, not to duplicate

38. Volunteer within your community and allow your employees to volunteer

39. Promote excellent customer service both internally and externally

40. Show trust

41. Encourage peer coaching

42. Encourage individualism and welcome input

43. Share third-party compliments about your employees with your employees

44. Be willing to change your decisions

45. Be a good role model

46. Be humble

47. Explain each person’s relevance

48. End every meeting with a follow-up To Do list

49. Explain the process and the reason for the decisions you make

50. Read leadership books to learn

51. Set clear goals and objectives

52. Reward the doers

53. Know yourself

54. Use job descriptions

55. Encourage personal growth and promote training, mentoring and external education

56. Share bad news, not only good news

57. Start meetings on time

58. Discipline in private

59. Seek guidance when you don’t have the answer

60. Tailor your motivation techniques

61. Support mentoring – both informal and formal mentoring

62. Don’t interrupt

63. Ask questions to clarify

64. Don’t delay tough conversations

65. Have an open door policy

66. Dig deep within your organization for ideas on how to improve processes, policies and procedures

67. Do annual written performance appraisals

68. Insist on realism

69. Explain how a change will impact employees’ feelings before, during and after the change is implemented

70. Have face-to-face interaction as often as possible

Follow Through On Your Promises

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership on April 22, 2017 at 1:25 pm

Set a good example for your employees and follow through on everything you say you are going to do.

If you promise to get an employee an answer, get it for him or her. If you say you’ll send a team member a report, do so. As the Nike campaign/slogan so aptly says, “Just Do It.”

Too many leaders don’t follow through. Perhaps they get busy. Perhaps they forget. However, following through is critical to keeping your team effective and efficient. And it’s necessary for gaining respect from your employees.

Following through also means doing so in a timely fashion. If you take too long to follow through, it’s as bad as not following through at all.

How To Connect With Individual Team Members

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Books, Teams on April 8, 2017 at 1:37 pm

Here, from the book, Be A Network Marketing Leader, are some tips on how, as a leader, you can connect with your individual team members:

  • Send cards on their birthdays and anniversary-of-joining dates.
  • Keep yourself updated with what’s happening in their personal lives.
  • Show your support during personal or family crises.
  • Schedule weekly one-on-one phone calls or meetings.
  • Pay attention. When you see an increase, decrease or change in results, get in touch.
  • Schedule monthly whole team meetings.
  • Applaud achievements and address concerns immediately.
  • Be consistent.
  • Make frequent thoughtful, spontaneous gestures.

7 Elements For Telling A Good Story

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Storytelling on March 22, 2017 at 6:21 am

According to Kristi Hedges, author of the book, The Power of Presence, a good story includes these seven elements:

  1. Has a clear moral or purpose
  2. Has a personal connection to the storyteller and/or the audience
  3. Includes common reference points the audience can understand
  4. Involves detailed characters and imagery
  5. Reveals conflict, vulnerability, or achievement others can relate to
  6. Has pacing (a beginning, ending, and a segue back to the topic)
  7. Serves to strategically underscore your intention (it’s not randomly told)

How To Apologize

In Apologizing, Eric Jacobson Leadership on March 19, 2017 at 6:20 am

The following great advice about how to apologize is from the book, The Courage Solution, by Mindy Mackenzie. She 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.

5 Leadership Quotes

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Quotes on March 4, 2017 at 8:25 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.

How To Be A Humble Leaderr

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Humble Leader, Leadership on February 19, 2017 at 7:44 am

From John Blakey‘s new book, The Trusted Executive, published just a couple weeks ago, 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.

8 Ways To Show You Value Your Employees

In Employee Engagement, Employee Retention, Employee Satisfaction, Eric Jacobson Leadership, Value Employees on February 16, 2017 at 5:50 am

There are eight specific actions business leaders can take to show that they value their employees, according to Andrew Leigh, author of the bookEthical Leadership — Creating and Sustaining an Ethical Business Culture.

Those eight behaviors are:

  1. Attention — Pay attention to what people say to show your interest.
  2. Listen — Make time to hear what colleagues, peers and employees have to say to show you care.
  3. Positive Language — Find words and phrases to show employees they’re needed.  Examples are, “We couldn’t have accomplished this without you,” “That was really useful.”
  4. Document — Put praise in writing to increase its impact.  Make clear where the credit belongs.
  5. Micro Sessions — Create two-way communication sessions.
  6. Visits — Schedule visits to teams and work areas.
  7. Stories — Share stories that highlight unusual contributions and provide your personal response to them.
  8. Invite — Ask people to contact you directly with their issues and concerns — not to bypass the normal channels, but in addition to those channels. Then, set up systems to respond quickly and positively when people show the courage to contact you direct.

Leigh is a founder of Maynard Leigh Associates the United Kingdom development company.

He is author of over 20 books on management, many translated around the world. His book, Charisma, has been translated into over 17 languages and his long running Essentials of Management was short-listed for Book of Year award by the Chartered Institute of Management.

Originally trained as an economist, Leigh has an MA in the field of Human Resources, and is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

How To Identify And Develop Emerging Talent

In Developing Talent, Emerging Talent, Eric Jacobson Leadership on February 9, 2017 at 7:08 am

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?
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