Posts Tagged ‘Effective Leadership’

Become Who You Can Be Without Losing Who You ARE

Friday, October 15th, 2010

One of my favorite movie lines of all time is from The Greatest Game Ever Played, a golf drama based on the true story of the 1913 US Open. Twenty-year-old Francis Ouimet was challenging his idol, Englishman Harry Vardon, who had won the Open in 1900. When Harry’s wealthy sponsor said Francis could not possibly win because he was not from the upper class and therefore would fold under the pressure, Harry responded, “If Mr. Ouimet wins tomorrow, it’s because he’s the best, because of who he is. Not who his father was, not how much money he’s got—because of WHO HE IS!”

And so it is with business.

It has little to do with the economy, the market, the competition. It has much more to do with self-improvement—with who you have become as a leader and who your team has developed to be.

The great competition isn’t “out there.” The great competition is always between the ears—in the mind and the character of a leader.

Weak leaders don’t understand that, of course, because they are at the mercy of the external.

People forget that this is how it is with everything—we get our results because of who we are. A millionaire can lose all his money and recoup it in weeks because of who he had to become to grow and keep a million in the first place.

Make a list of five commitments for a breakthrough this year. Be specific. Then become the person who could accomplish those five with ease, and they are as good as complete.

Ring the Bell or Forget It!

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

© Milous Chab |

Change CAN happen if only some of your staff are on board. Engines can also run on three cylinders. But the result is nothing to crow about.

In order for an organization to have a huge and profound transformation, EVERY manager must vote in with their full heart—must pick up that hammer and ring the bell, every time.

There are reasons people head into a new initiative halfheartedly. So you have to ask for extreme honesty—ask each member of your team to go far beyond lip service as they answer this question: On a scale of 1 to 10, how committed are you to a breakthrough?

Most people will give an answer somewhere between 7 (“pretty committed”) and 10 (“committed out of my friggin’ mind”). A seven from any member of your team might just as well be a three for all the good it will do you. Anything less than 10 gives that person a place to hide, an escape clause, a reason to fail. “I wasn’t that committed anyway,” goes the tune.

And it just won’t do.

If anyone gives an answer other than 10, congratulate their honesty, then find out why. Some people will say, “I don’t have enough time,” or “Well, I don’t know. Explain breakthrough,” or “I’m a practical person. I can’t commit until I know EXACTLY what I’m committing to.” For each answer below a 10, you need to help them understand why their answer will end up hurting the rest of the management team because they must be a unified voice for a major breakthrough to happen.

Make it clear that the breakthrough you seek is not an extra credit assignment, above and beyond the job. It IS the job. “I don’t have time for the breakthrough” means “I don’t have time for my job.”

Watch out as well for those who say “10” but mean something else. I remember seeing this played out hilariously once in a leadership meeting. The CEO had zeroed in on one poor schlub named Roger. When asked what he would be on the scale, Roger had mumbled, “Well, I suppose I’d have to be a 10.”

The entire boardroom burst out laughing. It was the least 10-ish tone of voice anyone had ever heard.

“That doesn’t sound like a 10 to me,” said the boss. “Let’s try that again.”

“Okay,” said Roger. “I guess the only right answer is 10.”

Again the room went to pieces with laughter. Even Roger smiled. He explained that he wasn’t really sure what the transformation was all about.

After every other member of the team had chimed in with enthusiastic explanations of what the transformation was about and how much they believed in Roger’s ability to rise to the challenge, he was asked again. And this time, he answered with conviction: “I’m a ten!”

Once everyone is fully on board at the highest level, willing to go the distance AND to hold each other accountable, there will be nothing in Heaven or Earth to stop you from achieving the profound and lasting transformation you need and deserve.

TGIM e-zine: September 13, 2010

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Issue 95 ~ September 13, 2010

In this Issue:

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From Success to Significance

Monday, July 19th, 2010

* Transcription

Thank God it’s Monday!™ The legendary management consultant, Peter Drucker, was known for his “five questions” that he used to start every conversation with a new client. The first one was “what is your mission?”

If your answer is to make money, you’ll probably find it in short supply. Why? Because money comes to those who create great value, but without a passion to create that value, money is elusive.

What is your mission statement? How do you use your uniqueness to fix the wrongs of the world as you see them? A mission statement formula simply lists how you use one or two of your unique qualities to create a utopic world as you define it. An example is “I use my visionary thinking and inspiration to challenge people to live their potential.” Or, “I use my organization skills to people get better results at work.”

Know that when you focus on your personal mission, BOTH success and significance come readily.

Live large. Somebody has to do it. That somebody who GETS to do it is YOU!

Have a great Monday!


Roxanne Emmerich’s Thank God It’s Monday! How to Create a Workplace You and Your Customers Love climbed to #1 on Amazon’s bestseller list and made the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists—all in the first week of its release. Roxanne is renowned for her ability to transform “ho-hum” workplaces into dynamic, results-oriented, “bring-it-on” cultures. If you are not currently receiving the Thank God It’s Monday e-zine and weekly audios, subscribe today at

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Getting the marching orders you need to succeed

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
© Jennifer Pitiquen |

© Jennifer Pitiquen |

There are a few recurring nightmares that just about everyone has at some point.  You’re trying to run from a monster and you’re stuck in slow-mo.  You’re walking down the hallway of your school in your underwear.  The classics.

Then there’s the one where you have to do SOMETHING but you don’t know what to do or how.  Maybe there’s an odd-shaped racket in your hand and thousands of people in the stands shouting angrily as ten balls of different colors come flying at you.  You’re expected to perform, and you want to do well, but you don’t know the rules of the game, so you have no idea what “doing well” means.

Fortunately we wake up from our nightmares.  But some people live the “no information” nightmare over and over again while the sun is up.  They want nothing more than to do what is expected of them and to do it well, but they are repeatedly handed projects with unclear parameters, fuzzy deadlines, and unstated assumptions.

Worst of all is finding out that, just like in the nightmare, the expectations DID exist, and time after time the employee is lambasted for not meeting them.

This is not okay.  As an employee, you have the right to know what is expected of you.  Holding you to unstated standards and expectations is every bit as crazy as handing someone a bat and putting him at home plate without explaining the rules of baseball—then booing angrily when he strikes out, as he inevitably will.

The good news is that the boss who gives vague instructions is almost always doing it unintentionally.  In most cases she really wants to see the project done right and simply does not realize that she hasn’t given you the information you need to make it happen.  Your job is to help the boss help herself by giving you what you need to do well.  It’s a win-win.

Next time your boss says, “Hey, I need this done,” don’t just dive in.  Take five minutes to see if you have the information you need. What are the exact tasks that need doing?  What are the specifications? When are the deadlines, both soft and hard?

Ask the boss for a five-minute meeting.  Start by saying, “I want to knock this project out of the park, and to do that I want to be sure I understand what’s needed.”  State in your own words what you understand the parameters of the project to be.  Ask if you’ve missed anything.  Ask when the hard deadline is, and whether an earlier deadline would be ideal.  Thank the boss for the clear guidelines and promise to be in touch with any needed clarifications.

Then knock the cover off the ball.  When complete, make sure to go back to the boss and get sign off by asking, “Does this meet your expectations?” If that step is missed, you’re not complete.

If you get praise for a job well done, reply by saying how helpful the clear guidelines and deadlines were. The odds are good that your next assignment will come complete with the details you need.  If not, ask again, reminding the boss how well the previous project went with such clear guidelines.