posted by Kim Benedict on Monday, 23 February 2015
posted by Kim Benedict on Sunday, 15 February 2015


What we are Reading

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Relevant Musings

Current thoughts on leadership.

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To be a good leader, you must inspire trust within your organization.   If you hire the right people and provide the correct resources, you should be confident in delegating responsibilities to them.  When employees see you have faith in their abilities, the trust level rises, which in turn allows for employees to feel empowered and more willing to contribute to the organization.

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Cost of Doing Nothing

As a leader, are you aware of the high costs associated with employee turnover, lack of employee productivity and/or customer dissatisfaction?  Check out Ken Blanchard's Cost of Doing Nothing calculator.  You may be surprised by the results!

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Your employee's self-esteem

An employee’s self-esteem most definitely reflects on their work.  If an employee is proud of the job that he or she does, their quality of work will reflect that. Employees who have bad self-images are more likely to exhibit those negative feelings in their work. As a leader, trust in their abilities.  Encourage employees to be their best.  Recognize successes. And last but not least, give credit where credit is due.
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“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” John Maxwell

According to Maxwell, leadership isn’t about titles, positions or flowcharts, it’s about one life influencing others. The most important factor associated with leadership is character. The word comes from the ancient Greek verb meaning “to engrave,” and it’s related noun means “mark” or “distinctive quality.” In other words, according to Maxwell, character is essentially who we are. The trust and involvement of a leader’s followers will be parallel to the level of a leader’s character.
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"Every student can learn, just not on the same day, or in the same way." George Evans

Leaders model for others all the time. The importance and impact of learning for the leader, reverberates throughout the organization with the impact being felt long and wide. Are you the example of learning that you want duplicated?

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“You may be flexible on strategy, but must remain consistent on principle!” From the 1980 movie, Brubaker

Being adaptable, flexible, and willing to adjust does not mean turning away from your core purpose and valued principles. Effective leaders recognize several ways to stay tuned into organization principles, while choosing any number of paths to reach the designated target. Take a look at your actions during this first month of business for 2012 … are you “on target” at the expense of your principles?

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Future Work Skills 2020 - Are you Ready?

At the University of Phoenix Research Institute, they continually consider what it means, and what it may take, for us to contribute in meaninful ways. At the heart of feeling successful lies the desire to offer something. As human beings, most of us want to offer something that matters. Something that matters to our family, friends, colleagues, and the larger community we generally call society.

I appreciate that the group at Phoenix is focused in this direction and I encourage you to take the time to read their report. Better yet, read it and then discuss it with others to share the learning!

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Generosity with strings is not generosity; it is a deal." Marya Mannes

Effective leaders establish a regular practice of checking their motives. Proceed with caution if you are offering compliments, doling out recognition, or being charitable without understanding your reason for doing so. Generosity needs to be genuine or it's not going to be helpful. Are you thoughtful about the ways in which you are generous?

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"Just being honest is not enough. The essential ingredient is executive integrity." Philip Crosby

Whether we like it or not, whether we agree with it … leaders are held to a higher standard. When it comes to integrity the leader must stay focused in order to build trust. And trust, being the cornerstone of integrity, is essential for leaders who seek to take their organization to the next level, into the next market, into the next generation. What steps do you need to take in order to be a leader with executive integrity?

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If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room. Author: Anita Roddick


From your vantage point, where have you seen a seemingly small effort make a strong impact? Are you looking for the strengths in others that, when added together, could result in something very valuable? Be intentional about looking, specifically, for those small strengths that are just waiting to grow.

Who has a strength that is looking for your “water” in order to grow?

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Delightful Young Business Leaders

Delightful? Yes! If you are not seeing positive leaders emerging from our millennial generation, you are not looking hard enough or in the right places. I have the pleasure of coaching young business professionals who are proceeding through their MBA program and I am impressed with what I see. They are not just using their talents, they are seeking ways to turn their talents into strengths to offer a greater impact. That both encourages me and convinces me that I can expect to see leaders who will contribute to the world in ways that benefit all of us.

Check out the thoughts of John Coleman, Daniel Gulati, and Oliver Segovia in their recent Harvard Business Review blogpost to consider more on our up and coming business leaders.

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"Do it now. It is not safe to leave a generous feeling to the cooling influences of the world." Thomas Gutherie


Although most of us can appreciate an extra couple of bucks, generosity is not solely about dollars and cents. Effective leaders generously offer all their resources and they deliver genuinely not begrudgingly. Don’t hold back a compliment, a word of encouragement, or your attention. The “price” you pay will come back to you tenfold, so “spend” like there is no tomorrow all week long!


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“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” Napoleon Hill


Patience is not a stand alone leadership trait, rather it accompanies many other traits. Patience can act as either a modifier or exemplifier. Patience can slow the pace of a hurried presentation. Patience can also regard many options to a situation. Patience can play a big part in your interactions with others or a small part.

What part has patience played in your setting this week?

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Quote in Action: “Patience is also a form of action.” Auguste Rodin

Waiting should be an active posture for a leader, not a sedentary one. And we don’t want to mistake “calm” for “inaction.” Leaders take action in every situation and when doing so, they communicate volumes to those around them.

What patient actions has the world seen from you this week?

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Quote in Action: Selfless

“Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life's deepest joy: true fulfillment."                 Anthony Robbins

Are you a leader who finds fulfillment in your day’s work? Requests for your time and attention can be not only overwhelming but also end up frustrating you to the point of being inefficient. Regain your balance and those around you will be calmer.

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Move ... or die!

A favorite mentor and business colleague shared this blog post with me and I found it to be helpful in getting me to move "off the dime," today. Perhaps you need a shot in the arm to get yourself moving, too?  Check it out!

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Quote in Action: Caring

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.”                                                                                                           Henry Winkler

Effective leaders do not to take assumptions (their own or others) at face value. Rather they investigate the circumstances of a situation to learn what lies beneath the surface.

Have you recently taken a short cut and avoided investigating the circumstances? Don’t delay - circle back to fully understand and assist the situation.

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Difficult People - What To Do?

As evidenced in a recent blog post I read by Tony Schwarz, seen on the Oct 12 HBR Blog Network, there are many opinions about the best way to deal with difficult people, especially in the workplace and especially where leadership is concerned.

One blogger comment that I appreciated offered the idea of "not letting a difficult person rent space in your head." The idea being, we have only so much mental and emotional energy to spend each day. Is it worth it to spend your energy on the difficult person?

I believe that many times what bothers me most about difficult people is some piece of their attitude or action is a reflection of myself. Yikes, I hate when that happens. But some days, you may well decide it is time to deal with the knucklehead straight on. In that case, I agree with thoser blogger comments that suggested preparing yourself to do that well. Jumping in without advance thinking likely won't get you the result you want.

So here is my two cents worth of preparation advice, ask yourself "how will what I say or do help?" Will I be helped? Will the other person be helped? If there is little to gain by your comments or actions, decide to let it ride. But if there is a real chance to improve the negativity, by all means get yourself ready to have that conversation.

What advice do you have for dealing with difficult people?

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Quote in Action: Caring

Good ideas alter the power balance in relationships, that is why good ideas are always initially resisted. Good ideas come with a heavy burden.”                                                                                                   Hugh Macleod

Effective leadership in an organization requires caring relationships that offer openness to creativity – everyday creativity along with “rock your world,” creativity.

How can you open the door to unleash new waves of creativity in your group?

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Steve Jobs and Legacy

The passing of Apple founder, Steve Jobs, has sparked much conversation in many corners of the world. I suspect that even for those of us who don't know much about technology, we will still find ourselves involved in chatter about his death and more importantly, about his life.

The comments about his life will undoubtedly be connected to the contributions he made to those around him, those around him both near and far. In the reading about his life that I have taken in so far today, the comment I appreciate the most is this; Jobs recognized that people care more about what technology can do for them than about how the technology actually worked. Not withstanding, of course, the many dozens of people who purely love technology inside out.

So, while I'm pondering how to leave my own legacy, I'm asking myself, "what am I focused on?" The act of contributing? Or the people who might benefit from the contribution? In other words, what is the motive behind my contributions, my work? I can't be certain, but I'm willing to bet that if I'd had the chance to talk this over with Jobs, he would have welcomed the dialogue.

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