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How To Be An Open Leader

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Open Leader, Open Leadership, Uncategorized on June 24, 2017 at 6:42 am


Open Leadership author Charlene Li reminds leaders to periodically ask themselves these “open leadership skills assessment” questions:

  1. Do I seek out and listen to different points of view?
  2. Do I make myself available to people at all levels of the organization?
  3. Do I actively manage how I am authentic?
  4. Do I encourage people to share information?
  5. Do I publicly admit when I am wrong?
  6. Do I update people regularly?
  7. Do I take the time to explain how decisions are being made?

Thanks for these great questions, Charlene!

John C. Maxwell Leadership Quotes

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, John C. Maxwell, Leadership Quotes, Uncategorized on June 2, 2017 at 9:49 am

Chat symbol and Quotation Mark

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.

Choose To Select A Mentor For 2017

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Mentoring, Uncategorized on November 29, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Having a mentor is one of the best things you can do to advance your career as a leader. So, decide today to secure a mentor who will work with you during 2017. Make that one of your New Year’s resolutions.

A mentor can benefit leaders new to their leadership role and they can benefit experienced and seasoned leaders, as well.

A strong mentoring relationship allows the mentor and the mentee to develop new skills and talents, to build confidence, and to build self-awareness.

Proper mentoring takes a commitment from both parties and it takes time to develop and to reap the rewards of the relationship. Plan to work with your mentor for no less than three months, and ideally for six months or longer.

When seeking out a mentor, think about these questions:

1.  Will the relationship have good personal chemistry?

2.  Can this person guide me, particularly in the areas where I am weakest?

3.  Will this person take a genuine interest in me?

4.  Does this person have the traits and skills I want to develop?

5.  Is this a person I admire?

6.  Does this person have the time needed to properly mentor me? And, do I also have the time to devote to a mentoring relationship?

Most often, you’ll find your best mentors are not your supervisors, but instead are other individuals in your workplace, at other companies in your city, or are members of organizations to which you belong.

Before you start to search for your mentor for 2017, take some time to learn more about mentoring — how mentoring programs work most effectively and what to expect from a mentoring relationship.

One nice benefit of having mentoring as a New Year’s resolution is you’ll have a dedicated partner helping you to fulfill your resolution!

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.

How To Build Trust

In Building Trust, Trust Building, Uncategorized on June 27, 2016 at 3:15 pm

You can’t lead if your employees, team or followers don’t trust you.

Building trust takes energy, effort and constant attention to how you act.

To help build trust, follow these 16 tips, recommended by author Susan H. Shearouse:

  1. Be honest
  2. Keep commitments and keep your word
  3. Avoid surprises
  4. Be consistent with your mood
  5. Be your best
  6. Demonstrate respect
  7. Listen
  8. Communicate
  9. Speak with a positive intent
  10. Admit mistakes
  11. Be willing to hear feedback
  12. Maintain confidences
  13. Get to know others
  14. Practice empathy
  15. Seek input from others
  16. Say “thank you”

How To Maximize Employee Engagement

In Employee Engagement, Engaging Employees, Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Uncategorized on June 5, 2016 at 11:17 am

Overland Park, Kansas-based author Leigh Branham, along with Mark Hirschfeld, awhile back completed a survey of 10,000 employees in 43 states to better understand what separates a “best places to work” company from other companies.

What Branham and Hirschfeld discovered is that the best companies use six “universal drivers” that maximize employee engagement:

  1. Caring, Competent, and Engaging Senior Leaders
  2. Effective Managers Who Keep Employees Aligned and Engaged
  3. Effective Teamwork at All Levels
  4. Job Enrichment and Professional Growth
  5. Valuing Employee Contributions
  6. Concern for Employee Well-Being

Branham also explains that to get the best from your employees you need to re-engage them. You can learn more about how to do that in his book, Re-Engage.

Five Important Leadership Traits

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Skills, Leadership Traits, Uncategorized on April 16, 2016 at 11:20 am

Awhile back, I was asked, “What five most important traits must a leader have to be effective?” I could reply fairly quickly, but I did take a moment to remember that when I asked a similar question in a LinkedIn group discussion, group members offered up nearly 100 different adjectives to describe an effective leader.

But, for me, I contend the five most important traits are:

  1. Good communicator. That means effectively communicating timely and consistent messages during good and bad times. And, knowing how and when to be a good listener. Communicating is critical. Employees must hear from their leaders. And, hearing from their leaders in person versus e-mail and written memos is even more effective.
  2. Being a servant leader. Put your employees and your company first. A top manager who makes decisions that are self-serving will lack followers and will bring the company down.
  3. Adaptable. Today, more than ever, a leader needs to adapt. That means adapting to competitive and industry situations. It also means being willing to change your decisions if new information or circumstances warrant the change.
  4. Decisive. Leaders who aren’t decisive and who can’t make a decision will spin their organization into a frozen state where employees are unmotivated, wasting time, and discouraged.
  5. Motivating. Smart, decisive, engaging, tough yet fair, personable and encouraging leaders are motivating. These leaders motivate employees to deliver their best for their leaders and for their company.

What is your list of five traits?

How To Give Praise To An Employee

In Giving Praise, Uncategorized on January 24, 2016 at 10:40 am


Entrepreneur magazine’s February 2012 issue offers these great tips on how to give praise:

  • Praise followed by criticism is not praise.
  • Praise followed by praise is probably a little too much praise.
  • Ending an expression of praise with “…and stuff” nullifies the praise.

And,

  • Make it timely.  The closer the recognition is to the behavior, the more likely the behavior will be repeated.
  • Be sincere.  Be impromptu.
  • Remember, a handwritten note is worth more than a gift card.

Having trouble writing your handwritten note of praise?  Try this template to get you started:

  • _______, I couldn’t be more impressed with how you______.  Not only did you____, but you_______.  Beautiful.  Thanks, ________

Listening And Learning As A Leader

In Listening Skills, Uncategorized on January 23, 2016 at 5:43 am

In John Baldoni’s bookThe Leader’s Guide to Speaking with Presence, he provides these tips for listening as a leader and learning as a leader:

When Listening As A Leader:

  • Look at people when they are speaking to you. Make eye contact.
  • Ask open-ended questions, such as “Tell me about…” or “Could you explain this?”
  • Consider the “what if” question:  “What if we looked at the situation like this?”
  • Leverage the “why” question:  “Why do we do it this way?”
  • Employ the “how” question:  “How can you do this?”

When Learning As A Leader:

  • Reflect on what people have told you.
  • Think about what you have not observed.  Are people holding back?  If so, why?
  • Consider how you can implement what you have observed.
  • Get back to people who have suggested ideas to you and thank them.
  • Look for opportunities to collaborate with others.

For about 20 years, Baldoni has coached and consulted for a number of leading companies in a variety of different businesses, ranging from automotive and banking to computers, high technology, fast food, and packaged goods.

Be A Manager With Class

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Books, Uncategorized on December 12, 2015 at 1:39 pm

femal leader

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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