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?

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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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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Cross-Functional Improvement Benefits

Leaders frequently employ process improvement projects to boost long-term business performance, and to build the competency of their people. In addition to the quantifiable benefits generated by these ventures, significant qualitative rewards are also produced that subtly strengthen culture and sustainability. Since a process outcome is the result of actions taken by people, improving a process is best accomplished by those who experience the process themselves. Getting your people engaged in process improvement projects helps them discover how your …

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Committing to Strategy Execution

The planning season is upon us. Visions and missions are being reconsidered. New goals and objectives are being defined. Strategies and action plans are being developed. When the planning turns to strategy execution, before finalizing action steps, success metrics, barriers, and resource allocation, consider if the company can commit to implementing the strategy. And since changing circumstances ensure that few strategies survive without adaptation, consider how that commitment may be challenged if the need arises …

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Discovery Makes a Difference

Solving problems involves two steps…a diagnostic assessment, followed by the application of a remedy. Earning a customer’s trust relies on the same formula. If the growth of your business depends on building and sustaining relationships, versus increasing the number of transactions, then conducting a rigorous diagnostic, or discovery, process is essential when a new opportunity arises. In a market that cultivates commoditization, where needed information is readily available and simplistic assessments are used to hastily …

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Taking Ownership

For customers, it’s the first person they contact who creates that critical first impression of your business. If that person listens more than talks, probes to learn more about what the customer needs,and takes ownership for resolving that need, then it is likely that the customer will welcome the opportunity to build a trust relationship with your company. Recognizing that trust can only take root once your promise to the customer is realized, taking ownership …

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