Leadership on Point

Immediate Opportunities To Improve Your Business

July 12, 2011 Jim Desrosiers

As a business consultant in many different industries, I noticed a pattern that has resulted in companies struggling to survive or do well in today’s economic environment.  Here’s GROWTHco’s Top 5 List of Immediate Improvement Opportunities.

These don’t include operational, infrastructure, or technological improvements that may take longer to implement.  These are people and process improvements that have made immediate impacts on the bottom line of our clients.  Ask your team if any of the following pertain to your company:

1)  Commitment to a predetermined vision: Although major business schools are telling business leaders to ‘throw away your business plan’, the #1 concern I have with businesses today is their lack of commitment to a specific outcome.  Know exactly what products and services you provide.  Know who needs your offerings AND has the ability to pay for them.  Identify the best strategy to penetrate your unique market. Don’t let every outside opportunity and potential partnership take away from your vision.  Sure, there is a time and place to identify and explore new opportunities, but not at the expense of your current strategy.  Some companies are now adopting a R&D (Research & Development) person or team whose primary role is to explore new opportunities and keep key personnel laser focused on the existing path to success.

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Google’s CEO Discusses the Value of a Coach

June 24, 2011 Richard Levin

Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt discusses the importance of hiring an executive coach, noting that having someone to provide perspective and help you to reach your full potential is not an indication that something is wrong.  A coach’s role is, as Schmidt explains, to help the client see him/herself as they appear to others … and to assess if (and how) changes should be made.


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Professional Advancement in the Corporate World: The First Steps to Fostering Female Leadership

May 9, 2011 Meghan Vincent

Women Executives in Corporate America, Female Leadership

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal titled “Coaching Urged for Women: Inadequate Career Development Holds Back Female Executives, McKinsey Says”, addressed a significant yet often overlooked dilemma in today’s corporate world: how do corporations cultivate and sustain gender diversity among managers and eliminate barriers for female advancement in the workforce?

In order to exemplify a reputable and respectable manager, one must execute basic leadership functions. The three C’s – command, control, and coordinate – have become standard management oriented skills, and are often executed by the male-dominant corporate world.  How can women advance in the workforce if the three core managerial skills are man-made, developed by men decades ago?  These standards are ingrained in our minds; we assume that the CEO of a Fortune 500 company is authoritative and direct, and typically a male figure.  We presume that women do not have the time or energy to act as senior-level managers because of their role as mothers and caretakers.  The women who do, in fact, rise to the top and assume senior management positions often execute more behavioral/supportive leadership skills; we often describe these leaders as those who motivate, inspire, and articulate a vision.  Women who have taken on more senior and managerial roles often work in women-oriented careers such as health and education, rather than business and technology.

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Can You Run the Boston Marathon?

April 18, 2011 Jim Desrosiers

Boston Marathon, Executive Coaching, Goals

Maybe not this week, but of course you can run the Boston Marathon…unless your attitude says you can’t.  If you think you can’t do something, you’re right.  If you think you can, you are also right.

Follow this formula:

Success comes from goals. Goals come from results. Results come from our daily behaviors. Our behaviors are driven by our attitudes.

Our attitudes are 100% in our control.  Many people let past conditioning, outside circumstances, or even other people get to their attitude.  Since our success starts with our attitude, challenge your feelings when you are telling yourself you can’t do something.  Remember, human beings are only limited by self-imposed limitations.  It’s amazing to me that two human beings in the same situation can have very different BELIEFS as to what their ultimate potential could be.  One runner believes her potential is to someday increase her time to 60-minutes on a treadmill while the next runner believes she will complete the Boston Marathon next April.  Attitude is what makes similar people achieve vastly different results.  Also, challenge your attitude when you catch yourself thinking, “I’m having a bad day” or “That person MAKES me mad!”   We choose our attitudes.  Is it really a “bad” day if it’s raining or snowing outside?  Do you have to become angry at the rude driver or can you choose to smile and wave at them?  I actually have fun doing that…knowing they are expecting an obscene gesture.  Sometimes, they even apologize to me.  You see, attitudes are also contagious.  Your attitude also stems from your prior experiences and conditioning.  Conditioning that can be changed.  Right now you have an attitude about this blog posting…is it positive or negative?…and why?

 


 

Written by RLA Associate, executive coach and acclaimed speaker Jim Desrosiers, M.M. For more information, please visit www.GROWTHco.com.

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I Am Spartacus

April 14, 2011 Chip Bell - Guest Author

Spartacus: A Role Model For Leadership

“Spartacus” was the story of an actual slave who led a massive grassroots uprising against the Roman Empire.   The movie was a major hit with cast of silver screen giants like Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Jean Simmons, Lawrence Olivier, and Peter Ustinov.

After the severely outnumbered slaves were defeated in a bloody battle by the Roman Army plus several of their allies, the Emperor coveted the head of the person who started the slave revolt.  Surveying the field of defeated survivors, he announced that if anyone would reveal which slave was Spartacus, all (but Spartacus) would be freed.  If they did not, all would be crucified.  One by one each of the hundreds of survivors stood and proudly proclaimed, “I am Spartacus.”

The essence of service leadership is to create in others such clarity of purpose, boldness of spirit, and unanimity of action that customers derive confidence, trust and identification.  Leadership is not about what leaders do, it is about what an organization accomplishes when many unite and engage in the courageous work of providing inventive, memorable experiences for the customers they serve.  What steps can you take to create among all employees a oneness of mind about your customers?  What is your unit or organization’s shared vision of your customers’ experiences?  What can you do to get everyone to wear the customer’s hat every day and every transaction?

 

Written by  Chip R. Bell and John R. Patterson, customer loyalty consultants and the authors of several best-selling book. Their newest book is Wired and Dangerous: How Your Customers Have Changed and What to do About it. They can be reached at www.wiredanddangerous.com.

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Where Is the YOU in Your Performance?

March 16, 2011 Teri Sica

When people ask me why their performance is suffering, I almost always find the missing piece is their authenticity.

So what happens and why do we get so stuck?  It’s more about the emotional parts of who we are than the intellectual component.  I think it’s almost always related to the fear of being judged, the fear of failing, making mistakes, and sometimes even the fear of succeeding.

It seems like the common theme boils down to the fear of our own vulnerability – the fear of revealing our weakness.  This is why it takes much introspection, insight, and learning to effectively manage our fear so that we can become more authentic in all of the roles we perform.

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Network Purposefully

March 2, 2011 Ed Evarts - Guest Author

Networking Purposefully - Richard Levin & Associates

We often find ourselves in situations that are new and unexplored.  Sometimes we stubbornly continue with an activity which to date has yielded little result.  Whether you are going out on a blind date, sending a self-addressed envelope to the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, or attending your umpteenth networking event, you are investing a lot of time and energy into these activities.  When asked why, you often take a breath, think for a moment, and say, “Well, you never know…”

Perhaps it is part of our cultural conversation.  When in need of a response to justify our decision to take an action on something, “you never know” is an easy answer.

Mary:     “Hi, Bob.  What are you up to these days?”

Bob: “Not much, Mary.  I was thinking of going to a networking event Thursday evening.”

Mary: “Sounds good and I wish I could go, but I can’t.  What do you hope to get out of going?”

Bob: “Not sure, but you never know…”

Take a moment to think about the phrase “you never know.”  When do you typically use it?  What feelings do the phrase “you never know” create for you?  Do you feel a powerful sense of purpose and energy?  Or do you feel a sense of randomness and lethargy?

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I Choose To Love Snow

February 9, 2011 Jim Desrosiers

Executive Coaching, Richard Levin & Associates, Self-Improvement

Winter is here…and there’s still a long way to go…so choose to love it.

From previous blogs or our work together, you’ve learned how choosing to have a positive attitude is critical to your success and overall happiness.  Yes, you choose happiness.

Remember, your attitude will drive your actions, which produces your results.

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The Rebellious Customer, Part I (Part II is inevitable)

January 19, 2011 Richard Levin

Although Sirius XM Satellite Radio is beginning to emerge from its deep financial doldrums, it is remarkable they are surviving with their current business processes.  I realized the credit card I use to pay my XM bill was about to expire, so I went online to update my profile.  I encountered an error message that told me I couldn’t access my account because my credit card had to be updated.  They advised that I call XM Listener Cares, where I received a recording that “due to heavy call volume, we advise you to use our website to manage your account”.  Caught in a classic Catch 22, I sent an e-mail to Customer Service.  The response: “We apologize for the inconvenience.  Please go to our website to update your account.”  How can a company stay in business when you have to jump through hoops to pay them?………………………The Apple iPhone, in many ways the best phone I’ve ever owned, has a tendency to erase its own calendar.  If you have an iPhone, you might want to discuss this with Apple or AT&T…………………..Spirit Airlines’ decision to charge for carry-on luggage has to qualify for whatever award organizations give out for dumbest decision of the year.  Do you have other nominees?………When I checked in to a luxury hotel on a recent business trip, I entered my room and discovered a woman had checked in to my room before I did.  Some businessmen might find this a fantasy come true.  When I called the front desk, they sent Security to investigate.  Security tried to convince me the woman inside my room was my wife. My wife was not on this business trip.  I’m convinced Jerry Seinfeld’s Bizarro World is becoming reality.

 

 

Written by Dr. Richard Levin, President of Richard Levin & Associates. He can be reached at rlevin@richardlevinassociates.com.

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