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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.

How To Be A High-Performing Team

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Team Building, Teams on October 22, 2017 at 5:54 am

According to Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese, authors of the book, The Collaboration Imperative, high-performing teams have the following characteristics:

  1. People have solid and deep trust in each other and in the team’s purpose–they feel free to express feelings and ideas.
  2. Everybody is working toward the same goals.
  3. Team members are clear on how to work together and how to accomplish tasks.
  4. Everyone understands both team and individual performance goals and knows what is expected.
  5. Team members actively diffuse tension and friction in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
  6. The team engages in extensive discussion, and everyone gets a chance to contribute–even the introverts.
  7. Disagreement is viewed as a good thing and conflicts are managed.  Criticism is constructive and is oriented toward problem solving and removing obstacles.
  8. The team makes decisions when there is natural agreement–in the cases where agreement is elusive, a decision is made by the team lead or executive sponsor, after which little second-guessing occurs.
  9. Each team member carries his or her own weight and respects the team processes and other members.
  10. The leadership of the team shifts from time to time, as appropriate, to drive results.  No individual members are more important than the team.

Six Questions To Ask Your Employees Today

In Constructive Feedback, Effective Communications, Employee Engagement, Employee Feedback, Employee Retention, Employee Satisfaction, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership on September 23, 2017 at 8:41 am

question mark people

As explained in John Baldoni’s, book, Lead With Purpose, Marshall 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?

The Golden Rules Of Effective Communication

In Communication, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Management on September 20, 2017 at 9:11 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.

11 Ground Rules For Meeting Behaviors

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Meetings on September 17, 2017 at 5:05 am

While recently reading C. Elliott Haverlack’s new book, Unbundle It, I found his 11 ground rules for meeting behaviors to be particularly helpful:

  1. Arrive on time.
  2. Be respectful of other attendees.
  3. No phones or computers if at all possible.
  4. No leaving the meeting or getting up to walk around until scheduled breaks.
  5. No eating unless during working meal meetings (consuming beverages as appropriate is acceptable).
  6. No side conversations.
  7. Good posture.
  8. Listen intently (even if you don’t want to).
  9. Ask questions at the appropriate time.
  10. No filibustering.
  11. Take notes.

How To Communicate In Eight Seconds

In Communication, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership on August 30, 2017 at 2:42 pm

According to a 2015 Microsoft study, the average attention span for us ever-scattered humans is now shorter that a goldfish’s; eight seconds. So, how do you stand out? How do you communicate effectively? How do you not waste time?

Paul Hellman answers these questions and gives you 100 fast and actionable tactics to make your eights seconds meaningful. It’s all in his new book, You’ve Got 00:00:08 Seconds.

He teaches you three key ingredients:

  1. Focus: How to say less with more meaning.
  2. Variety: How to stand out as slightly different.
  3. Presence. How to be notable and boost your reputation.

Paul Hellman

His tactics will serve you well in all these types of situations:

  • Making presentations
  • Interviewing
  • Emailing
  • Networking
  • Storytelling
  • Leaving voice mail

Here are some of my favorite takeaways from Hellman’s book:

  • In one-to-one conversations, talk less than the other person. Ask at least one thought-provoking question per conversation.
  • In meetings, speak in 30-60 second bites. Provide the headline news first, with details later, and only give details if asked. You’ll be surprised by how much you can say in 30 seconds.
  • When presenting, slim down to 10 PowerPoint slides or less.

And, if you really want to Own the Room when presenting, Hellman recommends you:

  1. Avoid the podium.
  2. Move.
  3. When you get a question, step forward toward the audience.
  4. Keep your hands in front of your body.
  5. Gesture.
  6. Look at individuals.
  7. Speak louder (as though the room were twice as large and you wanted to be heard).
  8. Speak as though your message matters.

Ask For Help

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Skills on August 15, 2017 at 5:09 am

If you are new to managing, or if you are struggling with a management dilemma, ask for help. There is no shame in asking for help.

Seek the guidance of a colleague at work. Reach out to a mentor at or away from work. Turn to an online resource. Consult a book on managing.

Whatever you do, don’t sit back and do nothing. Managing even one employee can be challenging. And many managers receive little or no formal training on how to be a manager. That means you have to be proactive about learning how to be a good manager.

Your team is depending on you, and to lead them effectively you need to know to how manage effectively. So, ask for help.

How To Stay Motivated

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Motivation on August 12, 2017 at 5:07 am

To learn how to stay motivated, read High-Profit Prospecting, by Mark Hunter. It’s a powerful read that includes counterintuitive advice and cutting-edge best practices for sales prospecting in today’s business world.

Today, I share one of my favorite sections of the book where Hunter describes his seven things motivated people do to stay motivated:

  1. Motivated people ignore voices in their lives. These might be people in the office and friends who have bad attitudes. They’re out there, and if you’re not careful, they’ll control you, too.
  2. Motivated people associate with highly motivated people. Just as there are negative people in the world, there are also positive people. Your job is to make sure you spend as much time with the positive people as possible.
  3. Motivated people simply look for the positive in things. Positive people count it an honor to live each day, learn from others, and impact positively those they meet. Positive people take great satisfaction in helping others achieve success.
  4. Motivated people don’t worry about what they can’t control, but are quick to accept control of their worlds. They don’t pass the buck to someone else, but are willing to be accountable in everything.
  5. Motivated people are continuously learning. The benefit of the learning they do each day is how they use it to improve themselves even more.
  6. Motivated people know there will be tough times, but they know tough times don’t last. They’re aware they need to stay focused on the solution, not the problem. Motivated people always view things in a longer time frame than negative people, who dwell on the negativity of the moment they’re in.
  7. Motivated people set goals and are focused on achieving them, and along the way they celebrate each positive step. The goals they set are designed to both motivate them and drive them to higher levels of success than others might achieve.

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.
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