I’m pretty sure I can safely say that individuals who read our blog are achievers. You work hard, seek to develop your skills, and look forward to the next goal in front of you. I’ll also bet you’re your own harshest critic. You probably beat yourself up at the smallest perceived failure. Some of you do more damage to yourselves than that funky albino monk in Da Vinci Code did to himself with that nasty rope of his. Sometimes your self-deprecating humor isn’t very humorous. Stop it. Now. These negative thoughts don’t just affect your performance – they rub off on your team. If you’re not careful you can create an environment where your standards are perceived as unreasonable and where praise seems extremely hard to come by. Over time, that erodes your team’s morale and can eventually lead to turnover (not to mention a lousy standard of living for you). We’re going to get a little cerebral and introspective today. I ask you to do so in the spirit of getting on a healthier mental track. Do so not just for the benefit of your team but for yourself, your friends, and your family. So how can you do this? My suggestion: assess, admit, and act.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-05-04 07:09:002018-06-21 17:21:06You're Better Than You Think
Whether you’re in big business or an entrepreneur, you need advice from time to time. External perspectives can be incredibly valuable. They’ll round out your thinking, help you work through complex problems, and identify new opportunities for growth. Unfortunately many of us don’t have a formalized group of advisors – we simply pick up the phone or stroll by the office of anyone who will listen. That construct is only partially effective. The advisor may not have time to chat. They might be unfamiliar with the issue you’re dealing with. They might not even care to help but you’ve imprisoned them for 30 minutes with your plaintive “can you please help me?” request. The result? You get suboptimal and, sometimes, even bad advice. There’s a better way. You should create your own personal board of directors. In the corporate world, a board of directors is composed of ostensibly wise outside senior advisors to the leadership team. Their job is to help set direction, solve complex problems, and hold the business accountable against a variety of standards. Their role is formalized (meet once a quarter, they’re compensated, they have employment agreements, etc.). There are expectations placed on these individuals both by those within the company and those outside it (shareholders, regulators, etc.). Fortunately for you, setting up your own board of directors should be less cumbersome. No employment agreements. No shareholders. But you still need to set standards. Here’s how I use mine:
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-04-27 05:03:002018-06-21 17:17:06Building a Personal Board of Directors
I love the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Great tunes especially at 3AM on a Friday night. They’ve also got an incredibly relevant message for how you can grow your business: Give it away, give it away, give it away now! (I’ll spare you the repeats). Want to grow your business? Give it away. No. I haven’t fallen and hit my head again. I routinely give away our stuff. Our services. Our content (ummm… yeah, you’re reading a FREE blog full of our intellectual property and the only price I ask is comments and telling your friends – you are telling your friends, right?). But I give it away deliberately and with purpose. Have you ever been in that “free seminar” that was nothing more than a disguised sales pitch? Infuriating, huh? Did you buy the speaker’s stuff? Didn’t it grate on you when they’d say “so those are the first two steps in our secret ten step process. Buy the other eight steps for just $999.99!” Those folks aren’t successful long term. They need to learn how to give it away. So do you. Allow me to explain.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-04-20 05:03:002018-12-21 14:17:34As the Chili Peppers Say - Give It Away Now!
I know I’m guilty of occasionally waxing loquacious and using polysyllabic words to create an aura of intelligence around my posts. More likely than not I’m doing this to overcompensate for watching too many cartoons every day. For a blog, those word choices can be fine (although Brian Clark at Copyblogger would kick my butt for saying that). Other times, flowery or evasive words are the WORST ones you can use as a leader. I read an article in Fortune the other day where they laid out some snippets of spin from companies going through difficult times. Many of these companies are laying people off. That’s understandable and acceptable. I actually salute leaders who have the intestinal fortitude to make difficult choices like that. It gets problematic though when the spin doctors are brought in. Bad things happen. Have you ever been in the difficult role of telling people they’re being laid off? Or that something bad has happened at your company? It’s incredibly hard to do. The aforementioned Fortune article discussed one solution. Some of the companies profiled brought in “corporate communication specialists” to “craft the message” (I’m not kidding). Instead of “firing people” the companies were “simplifying their business” or “streamlining their operations.” One even said they were “boosting their ability to compete.” Pardon me while I barf in my socks.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-04-13 05:05:002018-06-21 16:29:05Simple Words Are Good Especially When News Is Bad
A friend of mine was lamenting the current economic environment. He bemoaned budget cuts at his company and the lack of opportunities for professional development. He also said something truly alarming: “Our management team is so focused on just making the numbers that they’re not investing in developing their people.” (Incidentally, I think making the numbers can be stupid). He added “But it’s really not a huge deal because in this economy, no one is going to quit over lack of training or development, y’know?” After I reattached my head to my body, I thought about this painful comment. I think we might have actually reached the point of myopic leadership destruction where leaders get so focused on the short term that they forget the future. They become so narrow in their view they miss the point that their people will have choices before them after this crisis. Sure you can skimp on your people today and they’ll sit there and take it. But as soon as the economy turns, they’ll be bugging out on you and heading to a better job faster than you can say “leadership FAIL.” So all this got me thinking. Tight budgets. Lack of training dollars. Yearning for professional development. As I noodled on these ideas, I fortuitously had a great conversation with Jack Windsor and genius struck. He handed me a solution to these problems on a silver platter. I would love to hear what you think about this…
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-04-06 05:03:002018-06-21 17:27:49Train Them Now or Lose Them Later
I’m thrilled to announce a few upcoming events where I’ll be covering the topic of creating your own set of Leadership Maxims. Defining these maxims is a core tool of a good leader. I recently met an EVP at a Fortune 100 who actually has his written on a small laminated card attached to his corporate security badge. This stuff matters and it works. The first event is a breakfast sponsored by the Columbus Young Professionals on April 7th at 730AM. To register, CLICK HERE. It’s only $5 and that pays for your coffee (I’m not receiving any compensation for this engagement – it’s my way of giving back to the community). The second event is June 9th at 530PM. I’m speaking at the Ohio Growth Summit and again will be covering the topic of Leadership Maxims. It’s $6 to attend and again, all proceeds go to the Summit (not me). REGISTER HERE. The summit is going to be fantastic. The two other keynote speakers are my good friend Jim Canterucci and Chris Brogan (yes, THAT Chris Brogan). I should probably give you some more details on our Leadership Maxims program as well as background on the organizations sponsoring these events…
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-04-01 12:15:002013-11-07 17:56:25Do you know your leadership maxims?
I had a most unfortunate and frustrating experience recently. I bought a new pair of sunglasses because I lost mine. I had searched for the lost pair for a week but to no avail. I picked up a new pair at the local mall sunglass shop. Of course as soon as I got home I found the old pair. Perfect. Since I didn’t need two pairs, I headed back to the mall the next day to return the new one. That’s when things went south. There was a single cashier on duty. When I arrived, there were only two other people in the store. The cashier began processing my return. She began having difficulty with the system as she processed the transaction. This is where things started going Antarctica south. It became very clear this poor cashier had been tossed alone on an island like Tom Hanks in Cast Away. From here forward in the story, I’m going to highlight some customer service, training, and leadership suggestions and issues I hope you take away and use in your organization.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-03-30 05:28:002018-12-21 14:17:15How Training Failures Cause Cast Aways
Here’s a fun little interview landmine I’ve seen many people step on. In the process, they’ve blown the legs off the rest of their interview and after the fact they sit there scratching their head as to why they didn’t get a job offer. Hopefully this gentle warning can save you from a similar job search fate. I’ve mentioned some resume myths that are out there. Let’s assume you debunk those and actually land the interview. Here’s the next place you can blow your chance for a new job. I was interviewing for a fantastic role. The meeting in the reception area went swimmingly (pro tip: always be nice to the receptionist manning the lobby. More on that later). The receptionist and I had a very pleasant conversation about how wonderful the employer’s city was and how surprised I was by everything in the downtown area. My first interviewer arrived to bring me back for my day of meetings. The first four sessions of the day went very well. I liked the interviewers and they seemed to like me. The conversations were interesting, pleasant, and stimulating. It was time for lunch. Another associate from the company met me in the lobby and we headed to the restaurant. After some idle chit chat, we placed our orders. Then he threw out the landmine to see if I’d step on it.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-03-23 13:20:002018-12-21 14:16:58Interview Landmine: Don't Worry - We're Off The Record