5 Culture Movements That Are Permeating Your Company

Since well before the start of the Industrial Age, companies have existed by a command and control leadership culture model and hunkered themselves down behind corporate walls of silence.  It worked well, in many peoples minds, until we entered the Internet Age.  Since then there have been a number of movements that have affected that structure and they are actually starting to change those antiquated processes and rules.  Now, some will say this is a disruptive change that is not a good movement however this author believes it is the next evolution of the global business world.  We are going to look at five of those movements so you can see how well you have adapted your company or not!

As we progress through this period we must realize that many companies have a major disconnect between their brand, business, marketing and contemporary culture.  These companies must learn how to use the re-connection as a lever to increase their brand, business and marketing.  Our companies are no longer islands unto themselves, able to drive demand of customers and command employees without respect and a global passion for doing the right thing at the right time with the right people. Continue reading “5 Culture Movements That Are Permeating Your Company”

How to Expand Your Leadership Energy!

Employee Engagement

Telecommuter at workOur brain was never designed to just trap and retain information, in reality it was created to allow us to generate thoughts and ideas. So often you retain so much useless trivia that it may actually hamper our ability to think creatively.

When you have a job, you are paid to exercise thought power in the execution of plans and processes so it is important to understand how to avoid burnout and be productive at work, at home and in society in general.

Continue reading “How to Expand Your Leadership Energy!”

How to Grow Your Leadership: Self-Development

Pyramid S Miles FDP 2015Do you feel that self-improvement is beneficial or just a pain? Too often we feel that to embark on a self-improvement plan is a sign of weakness and should not be visible or acknowledged in public. In my opinion, this view is totally wrong and will limit your career and any legacy that you would like to leave.

Personally, I know that I will never be perfect, there will always be room for improvement. Likewise, you will not be perfect and there will always be room for improvement.

Self-improvement is vital for anyone to manage their career, it doesn’t matter if you are a company President, Operations Leader, Customer Service Representative, Sales & Marketing Director or “pick a title.

Continue reading “How to Grow Your Leadership: Self-Development”

Leaving a Legacy or a Legend?

Work-Culture-in-US-Why-So-many-MeetingsI have been pondering this question for some time and I finally have a clear understanding of the topic. Are you a leader because you want to leave a “legend” or a “legacy”? This can be a highly controversial topic because many leaders really don’t get this. In fact, I might even venture to say that most leaders don’t get this.

In reality, the true measure of your success or lack of success won’t be determined until after you are gone. Months and years after your departure will reveal what kind of leader you were.

While we often associate these words with the process that takes place after our death, I believe it applies anytime we change roles, companies or even retirement.

Continue reading “Leaving a Legacy or a Legend?”

How Do You Embrace Change?

Drive your own Best Practice
Thanks to Danilo Rizzuti & FDP

If you haven’t noticed, we live in an ever-changing world, personally, business and socially. I can’t guarantee much but I can guarantee that many things you are comfortable with today will change in the next 12 months. If you are a leader you are not only involved in change but you often initiate change so your ability to understand the impact of change is monumental.

Everything evolves, improves or devolves and disappears. We want things to get better as long as we don’t have to be inconvenienced or affected so there is the paradox. We can’t have it both ways! Therefore, I want to tackle a very controversial topic that everyone must deal with.

Examples of changes I have experienced:

Most major retailers today have introduced self-checkout but we continue to see long lines where there are two checkers and hardly anyone at the self-checkout machines. Each in the line is mumbling, “They should just hire more check-out people. I don’t want to use those”. Trust me, there will be more self-checkout machines and less checkers in years to come. I would even suggest we will see an order online and pick up at the store getting more press. I have embraced the changes and help people understand them better.

Growing up in Minnesota, we didn’t have TV until the early 50’s. We could only get 3 channels and NO remote control. Yes, it was Black & White only. Just when we were comfortable, color became the big rage so another change. In the 80’s we saw the introduction of cable with many channels available. Now, we began the struggle with what do we watch? Change but we prevailed. I embraced the changes how about you.

In 1977 I bought my first computer, it was a TRS 80 with 4K of ram and wrote to a cassette tape and I was excited. In 1981, after many computer upgrades, I began to travel the internet and that was exciting. You needed to have some background in UNIX to navigate it well but it was fun. Today, my iPhone is so superior to my first computer that it is immeasurable in terms of quantity and quality of experience. What’s wrong with change? Why do we resist something better?  Does your business embrace this change effectively?

In terms of work environments over the years, I have seen a move from a strong industrially based society to one with the emphasis on knowledge management. Management is evolving from command and control to collaborative leadership with an emphasis on transparency, authenticity and trust. Here we are seeing a lot of resistance, much of it due to fear. I continue to not only embrace but champion this change.

Are people who hate change or refuse to change fighting a losing battle? In my opinion, YES!

Personally, I believe change is hard-wired into our universe. Seasons are a perfect indicator, winter becomes spring, spring becomes summer, summer becomes fall and fall becomes winter. We often perceive that this year will move faster than previous years but it will move at the same pace chronologically. It is technology that is the accelerant, it makes things appear to happen faster, albeit instantaneously.

Here are some examples of current and future changes:

You can order almost any product or services from the privacy of your own home almost on a 24/7 basis. Now this has some good points and some negative points depending on your point of view. For example, brick & mortar retail has been forced to change from the primary distributor of goods to the provider of entertainment in the process of providing the same products or services. Finding a competitive advantage can be very elusive if you can’t think outside the box.

Physicians and other medical professionals are able to be reached by video sources and actually diagnose or prescribe medications with ease and efficiency. They can schedule appointments provide common results via email. Limits the excuses we have for going to the doctor, at least scheduling an appointment.

Conference calls can now be done with an active video on a real-time basis using tools like Zoom.US, Skype and others. The quality is actually as good as being face to face but without the expenses in a global environment. This is a good replacement for face to face interactions but it will not replace the trust, emotion and value that does come from a regular in person meeting. Still the change is good.

Driverless cars are on the near future horizon, so how do you feel about it? I love driving but the more I have thought about the process, I am ready to embrace the idea. No more fretting with traffic jams, irrational actions by other drives, or bad weather. I look forward to being able to use commute time for learning and preparation rather than concentrating on the road. Will it impact a number of other industries, absolutely so if these industries are not proactive they will become as extinct as the Dodo bird?

More and more examples or occurring daily. Will you embrace the change or drag your heals kicking and screaming? Yes, some changes are more difficult than others but our attitude about change is a choice that we make every day. You have control of how you address the issues but if you choose to fight a change, understand that it will not be easy and the cost may be high, personally and corporately.

Continuing to resist change usually does us no good. We should prepare ourselves by shifting our hearts and minds to the perception that most change is good and good for many. Change should make things easier and better.

Resisting something takes a lot of energy. It will force you to challenge your values and mores to ensure they are unconditionally sound. There will be some changes that your values won’t allow you to take advantage of, but as with all change the choice is yours.

Here are some questions I ask myself when looking at change:

  1. Is the change necessary and who determined the necessity?
  2. Is it morally and socially acceptable based on my current view of honesty, integrity and transparency? Does it violate my view of right and wrong?
  3. Who will be effected the most? Myself, my family, my community, my country, a small group, a privileged group or the whole of civilization?
  4. Will the change have an impact on other industries and how will that impact be accepted by that group?
  5. Does the potential benefit of the change outweigh the costs personally, financially, socially and spiritually?
  6. Will my world be improved or destroyed by accepting the change?
  7. Is it something that I need to meditate or pray about before acknowledging?

With these seven questions you have the ability to make a choice about the change. But remember participation in the transition of change may be uncomfortable at first. However, it can also add to your energy, therefore providing you with more energy to devote to something else.

Using your energy to resist change can be wasteful and futile. Also remember that most changes are not life threatening now or in the immediate future. In the end, you have the power to determine the quality and effectiveness of your life, work and leadership by your response to our ever-changing world.

If you would like to have a workshop for your employees to help facilitate a change please check out the Transformative Leadership website or call me at 630-454-4821.


Intentionally Redefine Your Leadership Style (part 4)

Child Leadership 2014  So what can you do to develop    your unique leadership style into one that will be highly trusted and respected? Today we continue last week’s post, here are the last three of the seven characteristics you can integrate when selecting the best leadership style, with tips for putting them into action.

  1. Be Collaboration-Focused

The best leaders are human and socially conscious. Recognizing the contribution of others and giving the team room to innovate is the best way to lead into a more resilient future. In this 21st century we are facing radical changes in business structure, communication methods and high dependency on partners for growth.

If your leadership style is silo focused and inward driven, then it will not fit well in today’s environment. People are looking for leaders they can trust, believe and willing to commit to a common purpose of vision. If your focus in on short term financial goals with no room for employees, then I would say your focus is wrong.

  • Consider “Why should my team be led by me?” Notice what you already bring them, and what they need more of from you to bring out their best.
  • Ask yourself, “What can I give my team today?”
  • Ask your people, “How can I help you succeed?”

Continue reading “Intentionally Redefine Your Leadership Style (part 4)”

Intentionally Redefine Your Leadership Style (part 2)

Making surveys workSo what can you do to intentionally redefine your unique leadership style into one that will be highly trusted and respected? Today we continue last week’s post, here are two of the seven characteristics you can integrate when intentionally redefine your leadership style, with tips for putting them into action.

  1. Be Bold and Confident

Boldness is an essential for leading upwards. In reality, it really is number one for a reason. To grab the attention of your bosses, you need to confidently make your point with as little fluff or padding as possible.

Few would describe Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Enterprises, as a great communicator. Many on the other hand, would acknowledge him as a great visionary, absolutely. His boldness can be breathtaking. And most of it stems from not giving a damn about what others might think of him.

Courage fueled by a high degree of integrity, authenticity and good judgment will give you the confidence to stand out. At the core of this equation is having compassion and empowering people to integrate the change.

Be confident enough that you are willing to apologize, if necessary. This shift in mindset really frees you up to challenge, take risks, and dare to make mistakes.

  • Review where you think you have been holding back in your leadership. What elements of your personality could you allow to shine through more? Where could you be bolder?
  • For one month, at the end of each day, make a list of 3 to 5 things that worked well about your style of leadership and why. Actively use them more the following week.
  1. Understand Your Strengths

In his book, “Go Put Your Strengths to Work”, Marcus Buckingham points out that in 2001, polls revealed that only 20% of us claimed to be able to put our strengths to work every day. In 2007, when this book was published the number had dropped to 17%. It is very clear that we do not understand how to use our strengths. We know how to label them, thanks to the Clifton StrengthsFinder profile, but few take it beyond that stage.

When you have a performance discussion with your manager does the conversation focus on your strengths or on your weaknesses? If you are in the normal part of the curve the answer is weaknesses, in fact 80% of our discussions are on weaknesses. Many times the thing that is limiting us is ourselves, we are in effect stopping ourselves.

Being self-aware is critical to your growth as a leader, regardless of the styles you adapt to make your own, unique version but if you are unwilling to tackle this step then you will not grow. Remember, as you grow, you should become more of who you really are, not what someone else wants you to be.

Get to know your signature leadership style inside-out. Heighten your awareness of what you’re good at, and consciously play to your natural strengths as much as possible.

  • Ask 5 – 10 of your colleagues what they consider to be the strengths of your leadership style. Compare the input and learn from it.
  • Buy a copy of “Go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham updated in 2010. Take action on the ideas, don’t just read it!

Remember, the most valuable thing you have to offer is yourself. Whatever your unique leadership style is, it is uniquely yours. Own it, have confidence in it, trust that it’s not about becoming something completely different or what someone else wants you to be. Look forward to next week. Please check out our website at the Transformative Leadership Group.


5 Secret Power Soft Skills

jscreationzs FDP 2014Whether you believe it or not, the old fashioned command and control hierarchy is diminishing rapidly in today’s business world. It is not dead, nor do I believe it will ever disappear completely because there are certain circumstances that will always demand micromanagement. However, the idea of a flatter organization, i.e., matrix organization, continues to fascinate organizational designers and impact companies worldwide.

I am diverting from my normal focus on small businesses to deal with the issue of larger, global organizations that must come to grips with being decentralized yet being highly coherent. This is becoming more important as we see disruption taking place in many industries.

That being said though, the message is also one that can be used by small businesses that have a vision of growing and expanding. If you adopt these early and make them part of your company DNA your growth will be smoother with adaptation being the key value.

Continue reading “5 Secret Power Soft Skills”

3 Tips for Building Trust Circles & Improve Sales!

Kromkrathog FDP 2014
Kromkrathog FDP 2014

Has this ever happened to you? After you walk through the doors of a business or you call them and you are immediately surrounded or talking to a – perfectly groomed person with a smile planted across his face in greeting. Within two minutes they have talked non-stop and promised you everything, including the moon, if you purchase their product or service. You lift an eyebrow, and think to yourself… “Yeah, right!” If you are in sales, this is how you are viewed by your customer at times, your buyer is thinking “Yeah, right!” also.

There is no Trust Circle for them. The distrust between customer and salesman is a longstanding mixed emotion for most people on both sides. After all, they know you are wanting to make a buck off their purchase. Sure, they don’t mind you making a few dollars… everybody has to make a living… but heck, it would be nice if you were at least a little concerned about what their needs are too!

In reality… customers aren’t likely to buy from you unless they “Know” you, “Like” you, “Trust” you and “Believe” you will deliver on your commitments. There are a few easy steps that you can take to give them the confidence they need to take the plunge.

Continue reading “3 Tips for Building Trust Circles & Improve Sales!”