Eric Jacobson

Posts Tagged ‘How To Be A Better Leader’

Leadership Lessons From “Moral Of The Story”

In Company Culture, Corporate Culture, Effective Communications, Employee Engagement, General Leadership Skills, Guiding Business Principles, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Education, Leadership Quotes, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Leading By Example, Management, Motivating Employees on September 6, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I’m a big fan of best-selling author Harvey Mackay.  He writes about business, sales and leadership and typically ends his articles with a moral of the story.

Culled from his writings of the past three and half years, here are some of my favorites of his moral of the story endings:

  • Change your thinking, change your life.
  • It’s not enough to know how to do things – you must know why you do them.
  • If you live in the past, you won’t have much of a future.
  • If you want to outsmart the competition, you have to outthink the competition.
  • Don’t be afraid to make a decision.  Be afraid not make a decision.
  • What you learn on your first job will last through your last job.
  • Minds are like parachutes – not much good unless they are open.
  • If you can’t be an expert, hire one.
  • People have a way of becoming what you encourage them to be.
  • It only takes a little spark to ignite a great fire.
  • Doing the right thing is never the wrong thing to do.

Mackay’s best-selling business books have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. They have been translated into 37 languages and sold in 80 countries.

Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive was a groundbreaking New York Times #1 best seller for 54 weeks.

Leadership Tips From The Book, TouchPoints

In Effective Communications, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Listening Skills, Management on April 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Some of my favorite parts of Douglas Conant’s and Mette Norgaards’ 2011 book, TouchPoints, are these lessons for leaders:

  • You need to have dual vision.  You need to be able to address the most pressing need and do it in a way that makes your employees more capable and ready to take on the next issue.
  • No leader can succeed by being only tough-minded or only tender-hearted.  The perfect balance is to be both tough-minded on the issue and tender-hearted with people.
  • Leading with heart doesn’t mean you always decide in favor of the individual.  It just means that when you need to make a tough-minded decision, you are acutely aware of how it will affect the people involved.
  • The people who are the most committed to mastering their craft are often the most humble.  That is because, instead of comparing themselves to others, they are moved by an inner vision of what they might achieve.
  • Ask often, “How can I help?”  Doing so at the start of an interaction opens up space for people to voice their ideas, concerns and viewpoints.

25 Ways To Be A Better Leader

In Company Culture, Effective Communications, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Leading By Example, Listening Skills, Management, Nonprofit Leadership on March 20, 2012 at 5:30 am

If you don’t have time to read a book about how to improve your leadership skills, tackle a handful of these tips, complied from the works of many authors:

  1. Don’t micromanage
  2. Don’t be a bottleneck
  3. Focus on outcomes, not minutiae
  4. Build trust with your colleagues before a crisis comes
  5. Assess your company’s strengths and weaknesses at all times
  6. Conduct annual risk reviews
  7. Talk about values more than rules
  8. Reward how a performance is achieved and not only the performance
  9. Constantly challenge your team to do better
  10. Celebrate your employees’ successes, not your own
  11. Err on the side of taking action
  12. Communicate clearly and often
  13. Be visible
  14. Eliminate the cause of a mistake
  15. View every problem as an opportunity to grow
  16. Summarize group consensus after each decision point during a meeting
  17. Praise when compliments are earned
  18. Be decisive
  19. Say “thank you” and sincerely mean it
  20. Send written thank you notes
  21. Listen carefully and don’t multi-task while listening
  22. Teach something new to your team
  23. Show respect for all team members
  24. Follow through when you promise to do something
  25. Be courageous, quick and fair

70 Ways To Be A Better Leader

In General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Leading By Example, Management on November 5, 2011 at 6:33 am

The list below is a good list for learning how to be a better leader when you don’t have a lot of time to read books about leadership.

And, if you’ve been a leader for a long time, how about taking a few minutes to run through the list and scoring yourself on how well you carry out each leadership skill?

1.  Don’t micromanage

2.  Don’t be a bottleneck

3.  Focus on outcomes, not minutiae

4.  Build trust with your colleagues before a crisis comes

5.  Assess your company’s strengths and weaknesses at all times

6.  Conduct annual risk reviews

7.  Be courageous, quick and fair

8.  Talk more about values more than rules

9.  Reward how a performance is achieved and not only the performance

10.  Constantly challenge your team to do better

11.  Celebrate your employees’ successes, not your own

12.  Err on the side of taking action

13.  Communicate clearly and often

14.  Be visible

15.  Eliminate the cause of a mistake

16.  View every problem as an opportunity to grow

17.  Summarize group consensus after each decision point during a meeting

18.  Praise when compliments are earned

19.  Be decisive

20.  Say “thank you” and sincerely mean it

21.  Send written thank you notes

22.  Listen carefully and don’t multi-task while listening

23.  Teach something new to your team

24.  Show respect for all team members

25.  Follow through when you promise to do something

26.  Allow prudent autonomy

27.  Respond to questions quickly and fully

28.  Return e-mails and phone calls promptly

29.  Give credit where credit is due

30.  Take an interest in your employees and their personal milestone events

31.  Mix praise with constructive feedback for how to make improvement

32.  Learn the names of your team members even if your team numbers in the hundreds

33.  Foster mutual commitment

34.  Admit your mistakes

35.  Remove nonperformers

36.  Give feedback in a timely manner and make it individualized and specific

37.  Hire to complement, not to duplicate

38.  Volunteer within your community and allow your employees to volunteer

39.  Promote excellent customer service both internally and externally

40.  Show trust

41.  Encourage peer coaching

42.  Encourage individualism and welcome input

43.  Share third-party compliments about your employees with your employees

44.  Be willing to change your decisions

45.  Be a good role model

46.  Be humble

47.  Explain each person’s relevance

48.  End every meeting with a follow-up To Do list

49.  Explain the process and the reason for the decisions you make

50.  Read leadership books to learn

51.  Set clear goals and objectives

52.  Reward the doers

53.  Know yourself

54.  Use job descriptions

55.  Encourage personal growth and promote training, mentoring and external education

56.  Share bad news, not only good news

57.  Start meetings on time

58.  Discipline in private

59.  Seek guidance when you don’t have the answer

60.  Tailor your motivation techniques

61.  Support mentoring – both informal and formal mentoring

62.  Don’t interrupt

63.  Ask questions to clarify

64.  Don’t delay tough conversations

65.  Have an open door policy

66.  Dig deep within your organization for ideas on how to improve processes, policies and procedures

67.  Do annual written performance appraisals

68.  Insist on realism

69.  Explain how a change will impact employees’ feelings before, during and after the change is implemented

70.  Have face-to-face interaction as often as possible

Always Follow Through

In Company Culture, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Skills, Leading By Example, Management, Motivating Employees on August 1, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Set a good example for your employees and follow through on everything you say you are going to do. 

If you promise to get an employee an answer, get it for him or her. If you say you’ll send a team member a report, do so. As the Nike campaign/slogan so aptly says, “Just Do It.”

 Too many managers don’t follow through. Perhaps they get busy. Perhaps they forget. But, following through is critical to keeping your team effective and efficient. And it’s necessary for gaining respect from your employees.

 Following through also means doing so in a timely fashion. If you take too long to follow through, it’s as bad as not following through at all.

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