Eric Jacobson

Archive for the ‘Leadership Books’ Category

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 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.

The Seven Roles Of A Collaborative Leader

In Collaboration, Collaborative Leader, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Books on May 13, 2017 at 11:07 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.

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.

How To Build A Good Culture For A Digital Team

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Books on February 12, 2017 at 7:29 am

About two years ago, Shane Atchison and Jason Burby wrote an interesting book about the principals needed for delivering true business value in digital marketing.

One of the most helpful sections of the book, Does it Work?, is the list of elements they believe are the most important for building a good culture where a digital team can be flexible, work together great, and move seamlessly to new ideas and process.

Those elements are:

  • Stay flexible. Encourage thinking outside roles. Don’t let job titles limit individual contributions.
  • Hire learners. Your team should be curious and willing to learn new things.
  • Empower people to share. Everyone’s opinion matters.
  • Make sure problems come with solutions. Don’t let whiners complain about what is wrong without bringing proposed solutions to address the problem.
  • Foster a culture of achievement. Provide real data that clearly demonstrates to your team that they are making a difference and accomplishing something.

10 Questions Every Leader Should Ask

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Books on January 28, 2017 at 10:22 am

Here are 10 important questions business leaders should ask, according to Ken Blanchard and Garry Ridge, authors of Helping People Win At Work:

  1. Does my business have a clear, meaningful, and easily understood vision/mission?
  2. Do I have the right people in the right seats on the bus?
  3. Do I have a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal), and have I communicated it to my employees?
  4. Are my values driving the behavior I want in my organization?
  5. Am I creating a culture that increases employee engagement?
  6. Am I cultivating a spirit of internal and external learning?
  7. Do my employees know what an A looks like, and am I supporting them to get that A?
  8. Are our products/services creating lasting, positive memories for our customers?
  9. Do I have the best, most timely data and information to help my business make good decisions?
  10. Are our key performance indicators the right ones, and are we measuring what matters?

And, one more questions to ask is:

  • Do we celebrate success?

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.

This Is What A Catalyst Leader Does

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Books on November 9, 2016 at 7:25 pm

Catalyst leaders represent the gold standard — energetic, supportive, forward-thinking mentors who spark action in others,” explain Tacy M. Byham and Richard S. Wellins, authors of the new book, Your First Leadership Job — How Catalyst Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others.

More specifically, the authors share that a catalyst leader:

  • Asks and listens
  • Fosters innovation
  • Provides balanced feedback
  • Builds trust
  • Focuses on people’s potential
  • Collaborates and networks
  • Empowers others
  • Encourages development
  • Energizes and mobilizes
  • Aligns actions with strategy

In the book, you’ll learn how catalyst leaders bring out the best in people. They do that by, among other actions, by:

  • Encouraging the person to try new things.
  • Giving the person input on things that affect him/her.
  • Allowing the person to safely learn through failure, so they can take appropriate risks.
  • Taking the time to find out what motivates the person.

The authors also cover the following topics in the book:

  • How to build trust and ownership
  • How to be authentic
  • How to delegate
  • How to nurture business relationships
  • How to become an adviser

Your First Leadership Job is certainly a good book for a first-time leader, but it’s also equally relevant for any leader who wants to become that gold standard catalyst leader.

Book Highlights: Leadership Conversations

In Communication, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Books on October 30, 2016 at 3:15 pm

When I read business books, I turn the corner of every page that has something I really like, want to remember and easily reference in the future.

Halfway into the 300-page book, Leadership Conversations, I had turned the corners of nearly every fifth page. So, you can see why I believe this is such a good book. There is so much to learn from Leadership Conversations. It’s a must read for today’s business leaders. Leaders who are leading multi-generational workforces. And, leaders who want the skills to get promoted and move up the corporate ladder.

Authors Alan S. Berson and Richard G. Stieglitz wrote the book because they believe that a leader’s most powerful skill is the ability to hold effective conversations.

So, in their book, they detail the four types of conversations every leader must effectively master.  Conversations that:

  • Build relationships
  • Develop others
  • Make decisions
  • Take action

And, they provide real-world examples and tactical guidance for each of those conversation types.

Here are some of the book’s gems:

The breadth and depth of how leaders connect with people determine a leader’s ability to influence, and the greater the influence, the greater the alignment and results. Leaders who effectively make those people connections:

  • Have a style and a voice that fit their organization and enable them to form bonds with their followers and ignite their passion.
  • Beget great followers. Leaders learn their people’s objectives and guide them toward achieving their full potential.
  • Address small conflicts to avoid larger ones later. They know intuitively when things do not seem right, and promptly hold the conversations required to fix them.
  • Know that creativity cannot be forced. They enable creativity in the natural flow of business by providing the time, the space, and the conditions for people to be creative — then they cultivate the fledgling sprouts of innovation.
  • Celebrate their people. They are liberal with praise and realize that their personal success is rooted in their people’s successes.

The Definition Of Meaningful Work

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Books on September 16, 2016 at 6:31 pm

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!
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