We all need reminders from time to time that it’s far more important to understand than to be understood. Today’s post is by Rick Miller, author of Be Chief (CLICK HERE to get your copy) In a recent interview for my new book Be Chief: It’s a Choice, Not a Title, I was asked to share an embarrassing moment I’d had on stage. My mind instantly flashed back to Beijing and a session I’d had 15 years ago. It was 2003 and China was celebrating the year of the goat. By the end of the event, I was the one feeling like the goat—and I’m not referring to “the greatest of all time.” Quite the opposite. It was a great reminder that: It’s far more important to understand than to be understood. Nine months earlier, I’d been recruited by the new CEO at Lucent Technologies to turn around company sales. As de facto Chief Sales Officer of a sales force that had generated $21B in worldwide revenue the year prior, it was a big job. By the time I arrived in Beijing, I’d assessed where I thought we needed to make changes and was focused on implementing the first steps of a global transformation. But it was my first trip to China, a unit that was delivering $2B in revenue to the corporation. In recent years revenue growth had stalled, but Lucent China had a very strong leadership team.
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Entries by Ryan Shaw
Our reader poll today asks: What is your approach to negotiating with vendors? Crises are harder to lead in: 17.% Day-to-day environments are harder to lead in: 83.0% Harder to lead during the calm. It makes sense that it’s harder to lead a team during day-to-day calm periods. There’s no “enemy” to galvanize your efforts. There’s no crisis to rally the team around. It’s just the boring daily operations that have to be done, but they also have to be done well. Just remember the old military aphorism that how you train in peace defines how you fight in war. If you’re not maintaining standards and holding people accountable during the slow times, they’re more prone to mistakes that can be costly during a crisis. If you place the right focus on the details when things are slow, that will be one less thing to worry about during the crisis that’s inevitably going to come your way. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!
When it comes to making decisions about their own business, some of the smartest leaders and best business people make the dumbest decisions, especially when it comes to selling. Today’s post is by Terry Monroe, author of Selling With Certainty (CLICK HERE to get your copy). I am shocked by how many successful entrepreneurs—smart folks who’ve devoted years to building their businesses—can be so casual and sometimes downright dumb when it comes time to sell their businesses. Regardless how successful someone may be, and I am talking about business owners who are making $5MM, $10MM, $15MM a year in net income, they are undermining and underselling when putting their businesses on the market. I believe part of the reason people behave in this manner is they think because they have sold things in the past such as vehicles, buildings, houses, or maybe even one time a business, they can sell what may be the largest financial asset they own, which is their business, by themselves. And armed with this uneducated self-confidence they proceed in attempting to sell what is basically their retirement account, themselves, and wonder why things didn’t work out. Either they are not finding the right buyer or are getting so frustrated they end up abandoning the sales process and continue to run the business. My goal is to help educate as many business owners as I can on how to determine if you are ready to sell your business and, if so, what steps need to be taken and how the process works.
Our reader poll today asks: What kind of matrixed environment are you operating in? Highly matrixed: lots of complexity and many stakeholders I answer to: Moderately matrixed: it’s complex but it’s a managable number of stakeholders: Not very matrixed: it’s a simple organization with a couple of key stakeholders: Not matrixed: it’s a very simple organization with no overlapping responsibilities: Complexity reigns supreme. A huge portion of you (71%) are operating in highly matrixed environments. The importance of clear accountability, proper goal setting, and constant prioritization of efforts is paramount. If you have lack of clarity on who is responsible for what or if goals are in conflict, your life will be a nightmare. If you haven’t been given that clarity, seek it out. Take a proposal to your multiple bosses for how you and your colleagues want to divide responsibilities and offer perspectives on how to reconcile goals that are in conflict. Many times your leaders don’t understand those conflicts as well as you do because you’re at the intersection of those issues. The more effectively you drive clarity, the easier it will be to execute well and achieve your goals. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!
Innovation in today’s society can be a difficult idea to grasp and an even more difficult idea to implement. In order to truly lead forward as an innovator there are a few key concepts to hold onto. Today’s post is by Dr. Joseph Walker, author of No Opportunity Wasted (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Lately, the term “innovator” conjures up the image of a young entrepreneur disrupting an industry with concepts like ridesharing, e-currency or meal-kit delivery. But it doesn’t have to. Whether you are 35 or 65, leading a start-up or a multi-generational business, you can be an innovator. In fact, you have to be if you’re going to keep succeeding. Being an innovator doesn’t just mean introducing a new idea; it also means tirelessly improving processes, finding solutions and refining techniques. And to truly lead with an innovative mindset, you must change the way you think – about success, about yourself and about your team. It won’t be easy. But it can be done. Here are the basics: Embrace Discomfort One of the biggest roadblocks to innovative thinking is discomfort. People – particularly people who already are successful – tend to shy away from it. After all, you achieved so much, and things have been working fine for you, so why change? But tradition is frozen success, not a roadmap for future opportunity. You can’t maintain success unless you adapt. Things change quickly today – tastes, priorities, people and peoples’ needs. So let go of any illusions that what worked in the past will work just as effectively today. It won’t.
Our reader poll today asks: When you have a high performer whose performance starts dropping, how do you handle it? I let it sort itself out — they know what they’re supposed to do: 6% I give them a pretty long leash but intervene before it goes too far: 47% I nudge them early to let them know something is off: 44% I jump in and start managing them much more closely: 3% To nudge or not? Folks seem evenly split on whether to nudge a high performer when they see something off in terms of performance. While many of you opt to not say anything, a large portion (44%) will make a small prod when they see performance slightly off track. Either approach is likely fine provided you give that high performer room to fix the issue. Sometimes just making them aware of something being amiss is more than enough to get things back on track. Regardless of which tack you take, know when they need to be bailed out. It’s a pretty terrible outcome to lose a high performer because you let their performance deteriorate beyond something they could correct on their own. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!