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://www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/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://www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/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://www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-03-23 13:20:002018-12-21 14:16:58Interview Landmine: Don’t Worry – We’re Off The Record
Being a Project Manager is a little more involved than creating a project plan and asking for status. You have to understand your project and all its working pieces. I see a lot of project managers whose eyes glaze over when one of their team members explains their issues. Stop daydreaming about getting back in your MS Project plan and updating your tasks and LISTEN! In a conversation, when you are not talking, you should be listening. You shouldn’t be thinking about the next thing to say or going to your happy place. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. If the only time you talk to your team is when you’re asking for status, they will treat you like you treated your younger brother in high school. They will talk to you enough to shut you up and that is all. They won’t talk about how things are going, what’s keeping them up at night, or risks that may rear their head in six months.
https://www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2009-03-18 12:16:002018-06-21 16:16:01Project Manager Doesn’t Mean Status Monkey
Things don’t always go perfectly. Sometimes they’re downright messed up. A differentiator of a leader is how they react during those crises. It’s easy to lead when things go according to plan but what do you do when it gets messy? Recognize that people will mess up (either like the guy I’ll affectionately refer to as Donnie the Mustard Man on the left or me when I got my tank stuck in the mud). Your reactions in that moment define you as a leader. So when in the middle of the lunch hour one of your key associates splatters mustard all over the place and customers are piling up at the register, what do you do? You can yell at Mustard Man. You can ignore Mustard Man. Or you can lead (both during the incident and thereafter). How can you lead through such a colossal mustard crisis, you ask? Good question. The three P’s… Offer Perspective In a crisis, people have a tendency to get pessimistic and view the situation as much worse than it actually is. As a leader, take a step back, have everyone catch their breath, and offer as factual an assessment of the situation as you can. “Hey folks… looks like Donnie dropped the mustard and spilled some pickles all over the floor. Nobody is hurt. We have some customers at the register who need help too.” See? Not as bad as it looks (despite the look on Donnie’s face).
I’m pleased to bring you another new voice: Ken Jacobs is our guest blogger today. Here’s Ken: Our economic environment has certainly changed – and not for the better – since I wrote the article “From Manager to Leader” which appeared in PRSA’s The Public Relations Strategist. In that article, I discussed nine action steps that effective leaders must employ: 1. Articulate the Values 2. Create a Vision 3. Build Trust 4. Provide Inspiration 5. Act Courageously 6. Share the Credit 7. Establish Empathy and Listen 8. Be Open and 9. Empower Your Followers I’ve been thinking a lot about which of these attributes is the most important for leaders to employ to get our organizations through this challenging economic environment. I believe it’s #5: Act Courageously.
There’s nothing more valuable than your network. It leads to sales, new partnerships, friendships, and career opportunities. For your network to be useful, however, you have to actively maintain it. There are plenty of expensive ways to do so (like buying a CRM system from a vendor who promises to double your sales) as well as manually intensive ways (like keeping stacks of business cards in your wallet so it resembles George Costanza’s on that episode of Seinfeld). Me? I like traveling light but I have a large network of clients, friends, partners, and contacts to keep up with. If I let my wallet get too fat with business cards, my sciatic nerve gets pinched and I’m laid up in bed for days. Fortunately I’ve found a solution. For your network to be useful, it has to be current, categorized, and connected (Wow! I’m using alliteration first thing on a Monday morning. My 12th grade English teacher Mrs. Morgan would be proud). Sorry. Enough rambling. On to how you can maintain your network and keep it healthy.
If you’ve read this blog for more than a week, you’ve probably figured out I’m usually jacked up and hyper-caffeinated. As Texas Ranger says in Talladega Nights “I’m all jacked up on Mountain Dew!” While it makes me more productive, it’s also a key to networking success. In my case it’s not Mountain Dew though – it’s coffee so I guess I’d have to say “I’m all jacked up on Caribou!” People sometimes overcomplicate networking or view it as something mysterious. It’s not. The best kind of networking is simple and personal. I won’t go into the value of networking (aside from pointing out the best business and career opportunities come from having a strong network). Instead, I’m going to elaborate on three simple networking tactics that can help you advance your business or career agenda. These ideas aren’t new. They’re not revolutionary. I’m going to ask you one question though: when is the last time you did these things? If the answer is “it’s been a while” then get cracking.