Dialogue Shapes Team Accountability

The prime directive of leadership is to improve outcomes – by challenging the status quo, by refining strategy and inspiring its successful execution, by developing talent and culture, by strengthening the sustainability of the business – all to achieve goals that enable the business to progress. The leaders’ challenge is to cultivate the ownership and accountability for these initiatives with those they lead, which requires a devoted engagement with their team, and the nurturing of dialogue among its members. Dialogue facilitates positive momentum towards team commitment …

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Effective Team Characteristics

Leaders may not always get the opportunity to choose their team members, but they can set the expectations for those they lead. Once those expectations are understood, leaders can shape their teams to develop the shared commitment and appreciation for each other that maximizes their effectiveness and is grounded in these three characteristics: How might clarity about your expectations, and these characteristics, strengthen your team?

5 Attributes of Effective Strategy Champions

The start of a new year often marks the launch or refinement of a strategy. Because strategy typically involves change, leaders need a few champions on the strategy implementation team who understand their role as change agents, appreciate why the strategy is necessary, are advocates for the Company’s culture, and have the critical thinking competency to drive the change required for the strategy to succeed. During the implementation, there will be moments when challenges provoke …

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Resetting Your Foundation

It won’t be long before busy schedules, endless meetings, and heavy workloads again become the norm. Before that happens, and if you haven’t already done so, recognize that this time presents a unique opportunity to assess your business’ progress from “what is” to “what can be.” Your company’s achievements and aspirations rely heavily on your culture as the foundation upon which your business is built. Those responsible for implementing and adapting strategies to achieve your goals behave in accordance …

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Where The Real Power Resides

When it comes to strategy, those with authority and power are often different people. Leaders may develop and authorize strategy, but the real power to execute it resides with those they lead. The real power is usually foundational, grounded in the company’s culture. Strategy is change; change is risky and the outcome is uncertain. Those charged with implementing strategy, and adapting it in reaction to circumstances, need to understand why the change is necessary, as …

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Investments vs. Transactions

Enduring customer relationships are the result of continuously creating value for your customer. That value is different for each one, and it evolves over time. What a customer values changes with their circumstances, and in most cases, what they value is more complex than getting the lowest price. The challenge is to remain engaged with the customer when no immediate opportunity is apparent. This is the time to be generous with your experience and competency …

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3 Steps to Resolve Differences

Your business exists to create value for customers by solving their problems. And sometimes, solving external problems can trigger an internal change, a challenge to your status quo, a need to think differently about opportunities, precedents, and risk. There will be times when proposing solutions for customer problems compels you to first resolve some of your own issues, to improve a product or process. Leaders understand and expect this scenario – a core function of …

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The Power of Remembering

Remembering is part of who we are – it’s what separates us from all other living creatures. Our Thanksgiving Day tradition honors this reality by dedicating one specific day each year to the simple, explicit concept of gathering to remember why we are grateful, to count our blessings. Sharing our unique stories of successes and failures with one another, of lessons learned, strengthens our identity and culture. It provides a sense of continuity. This is …

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Doing The Hard Part

One of the lessons I learned years ago, during my first time as the chief executive, was that our business lived on the street, with the customers…more so than inside the walls of our facilities. All around me, inside the business, leaders and their teams made essential contributions to our success, delivering on promises made by our marketing, sales, and customer service folks. Their actions relied primarily on established expectations and known variables around product …

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Evaluating by Observation

Having signed 52 baseball prospects who would later become major league players, Tony Lucadello is known as baseball’s greatest scout. His discoveries included Hall of Famers Ferguson Jenkins and Mike Schmidt. The number of his signees making it to the big leagues is far greater than any other scout. And he accomplished this with a territory that included Ohio, Indiana and Michigan, rather than the good weather states of Florida, Texas or California where more …

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