Eric Jacobson

Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

The Elements Of A Mission Statement

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Management, Mission Statement, Mission Statements on July 30, 2016 at 11:11 am

A lot of companies struggle when creating their mission statement.

Author Peter F. Drucker provides the following good advice in one of my favorite book’s of his, The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization:”

Every mission statement has to reflect three things:

  • Opportunities
  • Competence
  • Commitment

In other words, he explains:

  • What is our purpose?
  • Why do we do what we do?
  • What, in the end, do we want to be remembered for?

How well does your mission statement meet Drucker’s recommended three requirements?

What Managers Don’t Do

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Leadership, Management on May 21, 2016 at 9:42 am

According to David Grossman, author of the popular book, You Can’t Not Communicate-2, here are eight things employees say managers don’t do:

  1. Don’t keep employees informed.
  2. Don’t explain the “why” behind decisions.
  3. Don’t communicate frequently enough and in a timely way.
  4. Don’t update employees on changes happening in the business.
  5. Don’t share regular business updates and how the team is performing.
  6. Don’t ask for feedback.
  7. Don’t ask for or listen to concerns.
  8. Don’t act on feedback (or at least close the loop as to why feedback wasn’t incorporated into a decision)

This is a great reminder for leaders of what not to do.

And, perhaps number 8 on the list is the one where most managers fall short — not explaining why they didn’t incorporate feedback into their final decision.

A Manager Versus A Leader

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Management on March 1, 2016 at 6:50 am

Today, I share some of my favorite managers versus leaders quotes from Kevin Cashman’s book, The Pause Principle.

  • “What sleep is to the mind and body, pause is to leadership and innovation.”
  • “Managers assert drive and control to get things done; leaders pause to discover new ways of being and achieving.”
  • “Managers require competency to drive results; leaders embody character to build a compelling, sustainable future.”
  • “Managers accelerate to keep pace with the competition; whereas leaders paradoxically step back to go beyond the competition.”

Find The Truth In The Middle

In Leadership, Management on May 18, 2015 at 6:23 am

If you’re a parent of two children you already know that when the two are fighting and child #1 tells you what happened, you then ask child #2 what happened, and most often the truth is somewhere in the middle of what the two children have told you.

Surprisingly, many managers, even when they are parents, don’t use this parenting “discovery” skill in the workplace. Instead, they often listen to only one side of a situation. Whether it is because of lack of interest or lack of time, they don’t proactively seek out the other side of the story.

The unfortunate result is those managers form incorrect perceptions that can often lead to poor decisions and/or directives.

So, the next time two employees are at odds, or when one department complains about another department within your organization, take the time to listen to all sides of the situation to discover the truth that’s in the middle.

The Power Of A Verbal “Thank You”

In Giving Thanks, Leadership, Management on May 2, 2015 at 10:44 am

Your words of recognition and appreciation delivered face-to-face with your employees will be compelling, effective, meaningful and memorable.

As an employee’s leader, you are likely the most important person to them in the workplace. Their knowing you appreciate their hard work and success is critical to keeping them motivated and engaged.

So, don’t underestimate the power of a verbal “thank you” for a job well done!

Recommended Leadership Reads

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Management on February 21, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Here are some recommended leadership reads for you — blog postvideo, and profile about leadership, communication and/or marketing.

The recommendations are some of my recent favorites that I hope you’ll think are equally interesting and helpful.

So, here goes:


Eric Jacobson

The Importance Of Leading With Purpose

In Leadership, Leadership Books, Management on December 14, 2013 at 6:52 pm

“Purpose is the why behind everything within an organization,” says author John Baldoni, of the book, Lead With Purpose.

Baldoni also believes that it is up to leaders to make certain that organizational purpose is understood and acted upon.  And, to harness the talents of their employees, leaders must recognize their responsibility to instill purpose in the workplace.

Other recommendations include:

  • Make purpose a central focus
  • Instill purpose in others
  • Make employees comfortable with ambiguity
  • Turn good intentions into great results
  • Make it safe to fail (as well as prevail)
  • Develop the next generation

According to Baldoni, purpose forms the backbone of what an organization exists to do; upon which you can build vision and mission.

To define an organization’s purpose, you must ask three questions:

1.  What is our vision — that is, what do we want to become?

2.  What is our mission — that is, what do we do now?

3.  What are our values–that is, what are the behaviors we expect of ourselves?

Some of my other favorite observations from the book are these two:

  • We follow leaders not because they bring us down, but because they lift our spirits with their attitude, words, and examples.

  • No job is complete without a review.  Look at what went right as well as what went wrong.  Understand that failure is not grounds for dismissal.

Lead With Purpose draws on extensive research, field work and interviews with dozens of organizational leaders.  It also includes the results of an exclusive 2010 leadership survey conducted for the American Management Association (AMA) by NFI Research.

Baldoni is a recognized leadership educator, coach and speaker, and the author of Lead by Example and Lead Your Boss.

The First-Time Manager

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Leadership Versus Management, Management, Management Versus Leadershp on December 12, 2013 at 7:44 am

First-Time Manager

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.

The book covers eight core responsibilities of a new manager, including:

  • Hiring
  • Communicating
  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Training
  • Monitoring
  • Evaluating
  • Firing

Expert advice is additionally provided regarding:

  • Using Your New Authority
  • Managing Your Mood
  • Building Trust

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.

The First-Time Manager is an excellent how-to guide for anyone new to managing people.

Other books for new managers include any from the Top 20 list of Leadership Books, as voted on by LinkedIn Linked 2 Leadership group members, who were asked the question:

What’s the first leadership book you would give to a new manager?

Six Essential Project Review Questions

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Management, Project Reviews on December 10, 2013 at 7:32 pm

Eric Jacobson On Leadership

Here is some great advice from the authors of, Helping People Win At Work.  Those authors, Ken Blanchard and Garry Ridge, recommend you ask the following six essential questions whenever you do a project review:

  1. What did we set out to do?
  2. What actually happened?
  3. Why did this happen?
  4. What will we do next time?
  5. What should we continue to do?
  6. What should we do differently?

Seems simple enough, but how often do we really take the time to step back and ask ALL six of these questions?

  • And, these questions are important to ask even if there was no mistakes made during the project.

Continually planning and executing without the value of a review can blindside you.

Get more great advice from their book.

What To Do During Your First 100 Days As A New Leader

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Management on November 3, 2013 at 6:08 am

There are seven major onboarding land mines that you are likely to come across as a new leader and there are specific points in the first 100 days where you are most likely to encounter them, explain authors:

  • George Brant
  • Jayme A. Check
  • Jorge Pedraza

…in their new third edition of, The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan.

Ill-prepared, without a plan, and lacking proper onboarding, the land mines will get you.  And, if you miss one or more of the critical tasks that must be accomplished in your first 100 days, you’ll likely fail.

The book is packed with:

  • Examples and case studies
  • Action plans
  • Tools, techniques and tricks of the trade

The authors also explain why you need to start even before your official first day on the job. For example:

  • Cultural engagement is extremely important in a successful transition; and it is essential that you know what your cultural engagement plan will be before walking in the door for Day One.
  • A new leader’s role begins as soon as you are an acknowledged candidate for the job. Everything you do and say and don’t do and don’t say will send powerful signals, starting well before you even walk in the door on Day One.

By Day 30 share with your team:

  • Mission — Why here, why exist, what business are we in?
  • Vision — Future picture – what we want to become; where we are going.
  • Values — Believes and moral principles that guide attitudes, decisions, and actions.
  • Objectives — Broadly defined, qualitative performance requirements.
  • Goals — The quantitative measures of the objectives that define success.
  • Strategies — Broad choices around how the team will achieve its objectives.
  • Plans — The most important projects and initiatives that will bring each strategy to fruition.

By Day 60:

  • Overinvest in early wins to build team confidence.

This must-read book for anyone in a new leadership role also includes:

  • A new approach called BRAVE on how to engage hearts and minds in the intended culture.
  • A 100-Hour Action Plan for crisis situations.

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