Eric Jacobson

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How To Be A Collaborative Leader

In Collaboration, Collaborative Leader, Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Books on January 2, 2017 at 7:37 am

Edward M. Marshall’s book, Transforming The Way We Work — The Power Of The Collaborative Workplace, remains relevant today, more than a decade after Marshall wrote it.

Particularly useful is the book’s section that teaches readers how to be a collaborative leader.

Marshall says that there are seven different, important roles and responsibilities of collaborative leaders when leading teams, and those leaders should select the appropriate style to meet the team’s needs.

The seven roles are:

  1. The leader as sponsor — You provide strategic direction, boundaries and coaching for the team. You also monitor progress and ensure integrity in the team’s operating processes.
  2. The leader as facilitator — You ensure that meetings, team dynamics, and interpersonal relationships function effectively. You also ensure internal coordination of activities among team members.
  3. The leader as coach — You provide support and guidance and you serve as a sounding board.
  4. The leader as change agent/catalyst — You hold team members accountable, make the unpopular decisions, energize the group to action and enable breakthroughs where possible.
  5. The leader as healer — You play the role of the mediator and serve as the catalyst to bring people together.
  6. The leader as member — You serve as part of the team, taking full responsibility for the success of the team and actively participate in the team’s activities.
  7. The leader as manager/administrator — You serve in a traditional role of tackling the daily administrative responsibilities, processes, and systems essential to managing the boundaries within the larger organization or key stakeholders.

Within any collaborate workplace, leaders will find themselves fulfilling all seven of these roles at different times, and sometimes fulfilling a combination of the seven styles at the same time, while working with work groups and teams.

Four years after Marshall wrote, Transforming The Way We Work, he penned, Building Trust At the Speed Of Change. Marshall won an award for excellence in organization development from the American Society for Training and Development. He holds degrees from Claremont McKenna College, Syracuse University and the University of North Carolina.

How To Embrace Change

In Change Management, Embracing Change, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership on October 10, 2016 at 7:39 am

Change is inevitable. Change is good.  Help your employees and team learn to embrace change.

Here are some solid insights from Dr. Rodger Dean Duncan‘s (Liberty, Missouri) book, Change-friendly Leadership — How to Transform Good Intentions into  Great Performance:

  • The kind of behavior change that results in lasting (sustainable) change must accommodate people’s feelings–feelings that involve trust, confidence, passion, and all those other intangible but very real things that make us human.
  • It’s often the stress that people resist, not the change itself.
  • Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights (Pauline R. Kezer).
  • A transformational leader focuses primarily on initiating and “managing” change.  He/she influences people to improve, to stretch, and to redefine what’s possible.
  • It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change (Charles Darwin).
  • Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.

How To Create A Positive Work Experience

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Books, Uncategorized on September 3, 2016 at 11:25 am

In the book, The Optimistic Workplace, author Shawn Murphy, explains that the following beliefs are essential to helping create a positive work experience:

  1. The team is more important than any individual. For optimism to be strong, a cohesive team is vital. People need to believe the team will be there for them when needed. A team is weakened when the first priority is the needs of each person, or when ego dictates a team’s actions or inaction. And, avoid relying on the usual suspects, the same few superstars, to handle high-profile projects.
  2. There’s value to experiencing joy at work. Joy can open brains to better see connections and various options to solve work problems. Joy is about playing. Play at work is useful when creativity and innovation are needed. The usefulness of creativity and innovation at the workplace is linked to increasing employees’ knowledge and skills.
  3. Doing good is good for business. It’s not just about philanthropy. Do good by not contributing to the stress levels of  your employees who struggle to find a healthy mix between their personal and work lives.
  4. Relationships between leaders and employees need to be richer. Relationships are central to cooperation, collaboration, and successful outcomes.
  5. Work should align with purpose and meaning. Purpose and meaning are too often downplayed while businesses emphasize financial motivation. A focus on financial motivators blinds leaders from helping employees do work that matters.
  6. Leaders need to actualize human potential. Actualizing human potential is built on the fundamental belief that people are inherently good, will do good, and can be trusted.

Shawn Murphy

Murphy is an independent consultant with 20 years’ experience working with a variety of organizations.

Leadership Quotes From John C. Maxwell

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, John C. Maxwell, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Quotes on March 25, 2016 at 6:54 pm

leadership - poster concept

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 Explain Change To Employees

In Change Management, Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture on December 15, 2015 at 5:55 am

When you communicate change to your team, explain the logical and rational reasons for the change:

1. Explain how the change will make employees feel before, during and after the implementation.

2. Explain the tactical plan and goals.

3. Answer questions from your team.

The Moments That Shape Your Company’s Culture

In Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership on February 20, 2015 at 10:22 am

responsible leader

In his new book, The Responsible Leader, Tim Richardson explains that to create a high-performance culture, you need to plan and prepare for the following moments to ensure the conversations surrounding them are both meaningful and intentional:

  • recruitment and induction of new team members
  • performance management discussions
  • promotion interviews and talent management discussions
  • coaching discussions
  • customer sales presentations
  • handling customer complaints and problems
  • briefings to the press, analysts and wider market
  • senior leaders’ contact with, and briefings to, teams across the organization
  • internal presentations with executive committees
  • team meetings and management meetings

Richardson’s advice to improve the quality of these conversations is to consider:

  • How clear is the principal message for the conversation?
  • How can you ensure that the content of the discussion is focused on the key message(s)?
  • How can you ensure the quality of the listening by all parties?
  • How can you set a pace that is both focused and allows for real thinking?
  • What can you do to make the conversation a generative one that moves things forward?
  • How can you be responsible for holding parties accountable for responses and actions?
  • How will you ensure that decisions taken are mindful of the wider system and longer term as well as short term?
  • How will the organization’s values be demonstrated openly and authentically in the conversation?

Richardson is a Director of Waverly Learning and Director of Its Original Ltd. Previously Head of Leadership Development and Talent Management at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, he has worked with corporate clients, such as HSBC, BBC, BOC, Zurich, Centrica, Llloyds TSB, Barclays and Uniliver amongst others.

Thanks to the book’s publisher for sending me an advance copy of the book.

Don’t Hog All The Credit

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership on February 17, 2015 at 8:10 am

Insecure managers hog the credit for a job well done. Or, they hide the credit and don’t give credit where credit is due. These managers are afraid to let their employees be in the limelight.

Secure and successful managers talk up their employees, highlighting the good performance they’ve done, and are eager to give credit where credit is due. They promote their staff to their supervisor and to others within their organization.

Successful managers know that they look good when their employees look good.

Giving credit where credit is due is a sign of a manager who is wise and confident. It’s a sign of a manager who demonstrates good leadership skills. So, when your employees excel, allow them to take the spotlight.

Promote Internal Customer Service

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership on February 6, 2015 at 8:14 pm

Too often, we think of only external customer service, and forget about the need for excellent internal customer service.

No matter what type of business, organization or team you lead, remind your team members/employees of the need for and importance of internal customer service.

Similar to external customer service, that means employees/team members should:

1. Return phone calls on a timely basis.

2. Answer e-mails.

3. Be polite.

4. Probe to discover how else he/she can be helpful to a co-worker.

5. Be respectful of co-workers.

Lead your team in providing excellent internal customer service. If need be, make internal customer service a discussion topic at your next group meeting.

The 7 Attributes Of Meaningful Work

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership on November 5, 2014 at 6:55 am

There are so many good things to learn in the book, Helping People Win At Work, by Ken Blanchard and Garry Ridge. Among those is the section about how to define meaningful work.

Their definition consists of these seven attributes.  Work is meaningful when it:

  1. It is conducted in a manner that is “good and proper” in all respects.
  2. It positively affects our company and our communities, giving our work an impact that extends beyond ourselves.
  3. It provides learning and growth, offers challenges, requires creativity, pushes us to surpass limits, and creates exciting results.
  4. It provides recognition and rewards for our achievements.
  5. It allows us to succeed as a team while excelling as individuals.
  6. It allows us to enjoy the ride, bringing humor and fun into our work.
  7. It fuels passion!

business people in a meeting at office

The Nine Times To Thank Your Customer

In Customer Engagement, Customer Retention, Customer Service, Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Thanking Customers on November 1, 2014 at 10:15 am

Eric Jacobson Thank You

In your leadership role, it’s vital that your team members know how to deliver excellent customer service. “Knock Your Socks Off” type service as book editor Ann Thomas and Jill Applegate would say.

Part of delivering excellent customer service is saying “Thank You” to your customers and knowing when to say “Thank You”.

Thomas and Applegate recommend telling your customers “Thank You” during at least these nine situations:

  1. When they do business with you…every time.
  2. When they compliment you (or your company)
  3. When they offer you comments or suggestions
  4. When they try one of your new products or services
  5. When they recommend you to a friend
  6. When they are patient…and even when they are not so patient
  7. When they help you to serve them better
  8. When they complain to you
  9. When they make you smile

You and your team members can say “Thank You”:

  • Verbally
  • In writing (and don’t underestimate the power of personal notes via snail mail)
  • With a small, tasteful, appropriate gift

 

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