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Six Great Tools to Help You Become a Better Leader

Getting others to willingly follow your lead requires several important skills, like vision, effectiveness, motivation and setting clear goals.

We’ve pulled together some powerful resources that will help you achieve better results, whether you’re a CEO or an entry-level employee. You can use the techniques here to design a long-term plan to improve your leadership skills, which we hope will help you succeed professionally and personally.

Today, in part one, the focus is on goal setting, vision and leadership. Tomorrow, in part two, we focus on motivation and team dynamics. Each tip has an on-demand WebEx webinar you can access at any time -- you don’t need to download any software to participate.

Step 1: Recognize the importance of goal setting

The best business leaders are most effective at using goals to drive business results. Goal setting is one of the most powerful tools available to support your business. In this webinar, Steve Hunt, Principal Director, Business Execution Practices at SuccessFactors explains common mistakes and shares steps to address them, including some frequently overlooked techniques. Watch it.

Step 2: Set a clear vision

A leader with a clear vision has Read More »

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Collaboration: On the Field & In the Office

February 14, 2012 at 3:41 pm PST

Collaboration is great. But it’s not a Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, if-you-build-it-they-will-come Field of Dreams scenario. Alas, if all it took was plowing under a corn field and putting down some chalk stripes, I might be out of a job. And out of corn flakes.

We talk a lot about technology and process, but sometimes omit the human aspect. All the technology in the world won’t do much without people using it — unless you’re watching the Terminator machines attempt their takeover. And then there’s always HAL 9000. But those guys are a lot more interested in domination than collaboration anyway.

An organization’s culture is a critical component to successful collaboration. Make all the technology announcements and managerial pronouncements you want – you need an environment that supports collaboration. Read More »

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Baby You’re a Firework

“Do you ever feel like a plastic bag drifting  through the wind, wanting to start again?” Where do you get the energy to make that fresh start? How well do you really know you and your  work colleagues and really know each other? Do your colleagues know the real you and if not why not ? Do you feel comfortable opening up? Considering the amount of hours we spend with each other I still disappoint myself with the lack of “quality” time I give to my colleagues, really getting to know them. It is easy to forget they have interesting and sometimes even surprising lives outside of work. Qualities are often hidden. We often hold back from each other but we can all recall changes in our working relationships when the real person has been revealed.

Imagine with have 4 energies swirling around our bodies: intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual  ( Steve Radcliffe – Leadership Plain and Simple) . Some of us have more dominant energies present than others and yes, we need all of them. I would suggest the one we’re most reluctant to unleash at work is emotional energy.  Emotional energy is the precondition for everything we care about. Dreams die when we lack the emotional energy to hold on to them in the face of obstacles. The magnetic nature of emotional energy can be a powerful force in the workplace but, many of us are most comfortable displaying our intellectual and physical energy. Providing a culture and environment to encourage the release of emotional energy is crucial to success and allows colleagues to shine and be their real selves.

If we only could take the time to really get to know each other and to look beyond our exterior make up/facades. Katy Perry ‘s recent hit “ Baby you’re a firework” succinctly describes the potential in all of us regardless of how senior we are , our age  or our background.  Unlike physical energy, emotional energy does not decline as we get older. Emotional energy increases the more you learn about what works best for you. Business and self development books talk about playing to our strengths. Firstly we have to really understand our strengths and secondly we need the confidence to act on them.      

“Baby you’re a firework come on, let your colours burst.”

“ You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine .”

A colleague on my team recently shared with me his personal story of his road to success to date and laid out what he wanted to do next. He lit his firework and it was a fantastic explosion of colour. It made me realise that I do not know many of the members in my team well ( it is a large team 40+ ),  and I mean really know them ! But at least I had provided the environment for this person to have the courage to step forward out of the shadows and shine. There will be so many more personal stories of how people have seized opportunities , have created opportunities  for themselves , how they have moved countries  and started from scratch and are on their way to be very successful and fulfilled .

If you can’t do what you want to do in life or if it feels very hard to do, you are probably lacking emotional energy, not physical energy. Try something new to get things re-started. Remember “ Baby you’re a firework” .

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Diversity Awardee Reveals Hard Work Is Not Enough.

Kimberly Marcelis, Vice President of Strategic Planning at Cisco

We’ve been pondering our collection of inclusion and diversity awards sitting in our San Jose office. Some are inspired and even practical, like the glass bowl with a plaque stating “fill with candy and share”. And then serendipitously, I came across an employee account from our recent participation at the NELI (National Eagle Leadership Institute) Awards that re-ignited the real stories behind the glass ornaments in our awards cabinet. Read More »

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Don’t Kill Employee Motivation: Blanchard Team Presents Delivering Feedback that Gets Results

Providing good feedback does not occur naturally or by default. To provide effective feedback, leaders must learn, develop, and cultivate fundamental skills. Organizations that do not address these fundamental skills risk creating an environment where people fail to observe, reflect and self-correct their behavior.

Register for this free WebEx event now.

In 1998, Fast Company wrote an article on employee feedback and over ten years ago managers faced the same problems:

Too many leaders still treat feedback as a once-a-year event, rather than an ongoing discipline. “Doing annual appraisals is like dieting only on your birthday and wondering why you’re not losing weight,” cracks Saunier. Too many leaders confuse feedback with paperwork. “Filling out a form is inspection, not feedback,” says Kelly Allan, senior associate of Kelly Allan Associates Ltd., a consulting firm based in Columbus, Ohio whose clients have included Boeing, Paramount Pictures, and IBM. “History has taught us that relying on inspections is costly, improves nothing for very long, and makes the organization less competitive.”

Why is giving feedback so difficult? Read More »

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