The Wisdom of Oz

Why does the story of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion touch us? Like all great entertainment, their journey resonates. We see ourselves in the characters and likewise wish we possessed the power, the brains, the heart, and the courage to make our own dreams come true.

So what are your dreams? What do you want? Is it a promotion? Improving a relationship? Rescuing a child? Finding a new job? Saving a marriage? Getting a degree? Finding the love of your life? Making a difference in your community?

According to Roger Connors and Tom Smith, the answer is personal accountability. In The Wisdom of Oz, they claim that when you unleash the power of personal accountability it will energize you in life-altering ways, giving you a concrete boost that enhances your ability to think, to withstand adversity, to generate confidence, and to increase your own natural emotional, mental, and intellectual strength.

Among the principles they delve into:
• When you can’t control your circumstances, don’t let your circumstances control you.
• Every “breakthrough” requires a “break with.”
• Greater accountability is the most powerful choice you will ever make.

We have invited Roger Connors to join us for our next Soundview Live webinar, to explain how you can unleash the power of personal accountability. Register for Using Personal Accountability to Succeed in Everything You Do today and bring your questions for Roger to answer during the session.

New Summaries to Transform Your Business

Today in the United States, entrepreneurship and innovation are driving economic growth. Creativity, entrepreneurs and innovation are all important. Entrepreneurs have a passion for business and focus on their products. To develop these products, they need to apply creativity and innovation to their processes. Learn how ideas, talents, and skills are developed and transformed into commercial and social ventures with these three new Soundview Executive Book Summaries.

The_Responsible_Entrepreneur

by Carol Sanford

The Responsible Entrepreneur by Carol Sanford

Responsible entrepreneurs seek to transform industries, requiring them to think and do beyond what is require of business leaders. Carol Sanford provides the frameworks to build a business and to evaluate and direct investments to create the greatest benefit for all stakeholders. She presents the four archetypes for entrepreneurs to use to learn how to grow their businesses. The Responsible Entrepreneur is not just for entrepreneurs or investors, but anyone who wants to make a difference in their organization.

How_the_World_Sees_You

by Sally Hogshead

How the World Sees You by Sally Hogshead

To set yourself apart from the crowd, you must develop your own personal brand. Sally Hogshead gives you the tools to describe your personality’s highest value to others in How the World Sees You. You will be able to create better relationships, grow your business, and become more valuable once you understand how to leverage how the world sees you at your best. How the World Sees You will guide you to make a great first impression always.

 

Overfished_Ocean_Strategy

by Nadya Zhexembayeva

Overfished Ocean Strategy by Nadya Zhexembayeva

When resources are depleting rapidly, businesses need to make resource scarcity, also referred to as the overfished ocean, their top strategic consideration. In Overfished Ocean Strategy, Nadya Zhexembayeva shows how businesses can find new opportunities in what were once considered useless by-products and develop ways to rapidly refine these new business models. She offers five essential principles that define the Overfished Ocean Strategy, along with several examples of how companies across the globe are implementing this strategy effectively.

Good Leaders Ask Great Questions

WHY YOU NEED TO ASK QUESTIONS

The reason that effective leaders ask questions, writes bestselling leadership author and speaker John Maxwell in his new book, Good Leaders Ask Great Questions, is that questions are the most effective means of communicating with people. They also allow leaders to unlock doors that would normally be closed, build better ideas, gain different perspectives, and break free of the “mental laziness” of comfortable, unchallenged mindsets — just to name a few of their advantages. As Maxwell explains, “If you want to make discoveries, if you want to disrupt the status quo, if you want to make progress and find new ways of thinking and doing, you need to ask questions.”

Questions Leaders Need to Ask Themselves and Their Teams

In the first part of Good Leaders Ask Great Questions, Maxwell focuses on what questions leaders should ask themselves and what questions they should ask of the team. Leaders, Maxwell explains, must ask themselves the tough questions if they want to be responsible and proactive leaders. These questions cover areas such as, among others, personal growth (“Am I investing in myself?”); motivation (“Am I genuinely interested in others?”); stability (“Am I grounded as a leader?”) and effectiveness (“Am I staying in my strength zone?”). Each question is an opportunity for Maxwell to explore key leadership issues. “Am I grounded as a leader?” for example, leads to a discussion of three important qualities that all leaders need to exhibit: humility, authenticity and calling.

In addition to questioning themselves, leaders must also question their team members. Good questions will show team members that they are valued and will inspire others to “dream more, think more, learn more, do more and become more,” Maxwell writes. There are numerous questions that need to be asked if leaders want an open, effective team. These questions range from “How can I serve you?” “What do I need to communicate?” and “What am I missing?” to “Did we exceed expectations?” “Did we add value?” and “How do we make the most of this opportunity?”

“I Told The Ding-A-Lings What To Do”

In the second section of the book, Maxwell presents the questions that leaders have asked him over the years. These myriad questions are expertly grouped into seven key leadership-related issues, captured as questions of course. These issues include “What must I do to lead myself successfully?” “How can I successfully navigate leadership transitions?” and “How can I develop leaders?” Each issue is then broken down into 10 more specific questions, which allows Maxwell to develop an insightful and concise tutorial on the issue.

One chapter, for example, is entitled “How do I resolve conflict and lead challenging people?” This is a recurring and often frustrating problem for many leaders. Maxwell breaks the issue down into specific questions related to resolving conflict and leading challenging people. For example, “How do you raise the bar when people have gotten used to settling for mediocrity?” “How do you motivate an unmotivated person?” “How do you deal with people who start things but never finish?” “At what point do you turn your energy away from dissenters and low performers and focus on those who want to grow?”

In some cases, the answers to these questions come in the form of other questions. For example, some people may not be aware that they are settling for mediocrity. Thus, questions such as “Are you reaching your maximum potential?” and “Would you like to do better?” can help people see possibilities that they had been ignoring.

For motivation, on the other hand, Maxwell offers straightforward advice beginning with, hire motivated people. He also suggests rewarding people for the desired behavior and giving people a reputation to uphold — that is, the more leaders validate people for the good things they do, the more people will want to continue to do them. Leaders must also understand the connection between relationships and motivation. One leader continuously referred to his staff as the “ding-a-lings,” saying such things as “I told the ding-a-lings what to do, but of course they didn’t do it.” His contempt was apparent to his employees, who were, not surprisingly, unmotivated.

As with his many other leadership books, Maxwell’s latest is clearly written, clearly organized and filled with insight engagingly captured through precise and illuminating questions.

Building a “Better” Company

Back in August, we looked at a recent business trend as evidenced by a surge in books about Purpose. Today I’d like to dig into a related trend just beginning to show up in books – The B Corporation.

A B-Corp is an organization certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. B Lab has been at the forefront of this movement and certifies each organization, a group which has topped 1,000 companies from 80 industries and 35 countries.

There is a B Assessment that a company can take to see if they qualify for B Corp status, available at BImpactAssessment, and the website BetterWorldBooks which brings together books in the field of sustainability, B corps, and similar topics.

The first book to come across my desk specifically about B Corps is The B Corp Handbook, written by Ryan Honeyman, himself a B Corp owner. Honeyman worked closely with over 100 B Corp CEOs and senior executives to share their tips, advice, and best practice ideas for how to build a better business, and how to meet the rigorous standards for–and enjoy the benefits of–B Corp certification.

This book makes the business case for improving your social and environmental performance, and offers a step-by-step “quick start guide” on how your company can join an innovative and rapidly expanding community of businesses that want to make money and make a difference.

The B Corp Declaration of Interdependence says it all:
We envision a new sector of the economy which harnesses the power of private enterprise to create public benefit.

This sector is comprised of a new type of corporation – the B Corporation, which is purpose-driven, and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.

As members of this emerging sector and as entrepreneurs and investors in B Corporations, we hold these truths as self-evident:

That we must be the change we seek in the world.
That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.
To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and the future generations.

This group holds to quite high aspirations and the movement seems to be growing. You can see what we’ve covered in this area through recent summaries of The Purpose Driven Economy in September, and The Responsible Entrepreneur coming out next week.

Book Review: Out Think

by G. Shawn Hunter

by G. Shawn Hunter

The keys to competitive advantage in leadership used to be etched in stone. A leader was expected to be relentlessly dedicated to a specialty and use intelligence and drive to separate a company from its competitors. Today’s leaders operate in a different environment. It’s one that requires a combination of flexibility and a willingness to work with others. In each chapter of Out Think, author and executive learning expert G. Shawn Hunter presents a key component and techniques to show how to implement ideas that drive the change leaders want in their organizations. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

Hunter urges leaders to implement a new process that can accelerate new-product and value-creation pipelines. This is to counteract the “marketquake,” a term coined by Hunter to describe the volatile economic conditions of the current business climate. In Out ThinkHunter provides a number of key ideas, each of which is reinforced by takeaways drawn from the author’s access to top-level executives around the globe.

While subjects such as trust, exploration and collaboration are presented in new ways, executives may want to pay close attention to ideas that don’t normally receive as much coverage in business books. Hunter’s chapter on aspiration is one such example. By enabling team members to combine optimism with a well-articulated goal, Hunter provides leaders with the knowledge to turn their employees into company heroes.

Beyond learning why and how innovation has become the primary driver of successful companies, executives will also learn the key components of innovation and how to implement them in their organizations. With Out Think, any leader can make a measurable difference within their organization to outthink the competition.