Friday Book Review! Time, Talent, Energy by Michael C. Mankins & Eric Garton

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“Too many companies are living in yesterday’s world. They are seeking competitive advantage through traditional methods, and they aren’t finding it. And they are missing their main opportunity for boosting performance and outstripping competitors. Let us explain what we mean.”

With these opening words of their new book, Time, Talent, Energy, Bain consultants Michael Mankins and Eric Garton launch a combination manifesto and manual urging companies to stop focusing on acquiring and managing the principal scarce resource of the past — capital — and instead focus on acquiring and managing the scarce resources that truly make a competitive difference today: the time, talent and energy of your best people.

Confronting the Productivity Killer

Unlike capital, which is easier to locate and access than ever before, the authors’ research shows that the time, talent and energy of leaders and employees are becoming more and more scarce. To be successful, the authors write, companies must ensure that their employees are the most productive they can be — that is, that they use their time productively and that they pour their talent and their energy into their work.


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Most productivity books are focused on the individual. However, Mankins and Garton have a different message: “It’s not your employees’ fault that they are not as productive as they could or should be; it’s your organization’s fault.”

Most organizations are undermining their employees’ productivity with roadblocks and obstacles. The authors call these organizational obstacles “organizational drag.” “Organizational drag slows things down, decreasing output and raising costs,” they explain. “Organizational drag saps energy and drains the human spirit. Organizational drag interferes with the most capable executive’s and employee’s efforts, encouraging a ‘What’s the use?’ attitude… It’s time for companies to confront this productivity killer head on.”

The authors’ analysis of the time budgets of 17 large corporations indicates that time is still a scarce resource that is being squandered. Some of the culprits are well known, including a tidal wave of e-communications and meeting time that, according to the study, has skyrocketed. In addition, real collaboration is limited: most meetings, the authors write, are within departments, not between functions or business units.

Unfortunately, there are few controls and few consequences for time-wasting processes…(click here to continue reading)

A Guide to Strategic Cost Cutting, Restructuring and Renewal

Image result for fit for growth Vinay Couto, John Plansky & Deniz CaglarVery few organizations manage their expenses for sustainable success. And when the time inevitably comes to cut their costs, many companies cut in a way that makes them weaker, not stronger.

The experienced consultants with PwC’s Strategy& team reveal the hidden problems of conventional cost management –– and how your company can do better. Drawing on decades of research, observation and experience helping clients, these experts have developed a unique approach to help CEOs and senior executives cut costs constructively.

The Fit for Growth concept redirects an organization’s resources and investments toward its few differentiating capabilities –– the strengths that set it apart from competitors. When a company manages costs this way, it becomes fit for growth. Its cost structure, organization and culture are aligned with its strategy.

Total business transformation requires total buy-in, and it entails a series of decisions that must not be made lightly. Fit for Growth offers a definitive game plan to cut costs and grow stronger.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• The three essential actions for becoming Fit to Grow.
• Why growth requires cuts and how to achieve both.
• Smart levers to restructure costs.
• Strategies to help leaders, managers and employees embrace large-scale organizational transformation.

Friday Book Review: Getting to “Yes, And” by Bob Kulhan & Chuck Crisafulli

pid_25618In the early morning of May 2, 2011, a team of Navy SEALS invaded a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan and killed Osama Bin Laden. As author Bob Kulhan writes in his book, Getting to “Yes And”: The Art of Business Improv, “the mission had been meticulously planned: the SEALS trained for it over months and several contingency plans were developed and put into place.” Unfortunately, during the raid, one of the team’s helicopters crashed. In addition, “the SEALS discovered that the intelligence they’d based their plans on was not entirely accurate,” he writes. “There were a number of unknown variables (how many people they would encounter, the types of people, the weapons, the doors and hallways, etc.). So they had to improvise.”

The Osama Bin Laden raid may seem a surprising choice as the first case study to appear in a book written by a veteran stage performer and alumni of the famed improvisational troupe Second City. The story underscores, however, Kulhan’s point that the techniques of improvisation are valuable and important in any domain.

Much More Than Laughs

The building blocks of improvisation, Kulhan writes, are reacting, adapting and communicating — building blocks that are equally valuable in dealing with uncertainty or the unexpected. “Improvisation,” he explains, “is a key element of busy emergency rooms; it takes place on NBA basketball courts; it’s a part of the skill set for every policeman cruising the streets — all contexts in which comedy is certainly not intended to be part of the picture.”

As for business, Kulhan writes, “the same skills that make for exceptional comedic improvisation — intense listening, focus, energy, engagement, teamwork, authenticity, adaptability — are skills that any businessperson can use to make positive changes in the workplace.” Improvisation, Kulhan argues persuasively, is clearly not just “making stuff up” to be funny.

Getting to “Yes And” explores how to apply improvisational skills to the business arena. In detailed and grounded chapters, Kulhan shows how improvisation can be applied to personal development, communication, team building, leadership and changing a corporate culture.

The first step, however, is to understand…(click here to continue reading)

How to Manage Mavericks, Cynics, Divas and Other Difficult People

ihwx.fc9b05df-dddb-4c29-a399-330c78377c64.200.175The control-freak, the narcissist, the slacker, the cynic… Difficult people are the worst part of a manager’s job. Whether it comes from direct reports or people above, outbursts, irrational demands, griping and other disruptions need to be dealt with –– and it’s your responsibility to do it. Leading the Unleadable turns this dreaded chore into a straightforward process that gently yet effectively improves behaviors. Written by an insider in the tech industry, where personality issues routinely wreck projects, Alan Willett reveals a core truth: Most people actually want to contribute results, not cause headaches. Once you realize the potential for change, the Willett’s simple steps and examples explain how to right even the most hopeless situations. You’ll learn how to master the necessary mindset; explain the problem calmly in a short feedback session; get a commitment to change and follow up; coach others to replicate the process; and develop the situational awareness required to spot trouble even earlier in the future. Every manager has “problem people.” What sets great managers apart is how they turn them into productive team players. Prepare to transform the troublesome into the tremendous.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• What it means to accept the call of exceptional leadership.
• How to take action and follow through with troublesome employees.
• Key criteria for deciding whether to remove or improve an employee.
• How to prevent problems by setting the bar high.

How Leaders Accelerate Successful Execution

SpeedSpeed
by John H. Zenger and Joseph R. Folkman

During the last few decades, speed has increased dramatically in daily business activity. Speed in business is partly a reflection of the increase in speed in every area of modern life. In order to stay competitive and profitable, companies must improve the speed at which they operate and make crucial decisions. Today, competition is fiercer than ever as companies all over the world vie to be the first to market new products and services. The first-to-market advantage nearly always results in a dominant share of that market. But, can an organization move quickly if its leaders and professionals move slowly? Drawn from extensive data and field research, Speed reveals eight essential behaviors that anyone can adopt to improve speed and drive organizational effectiveness.

Leadership experts Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman share valuable insights gleaned from one million 360-degree feedback assessments of more than 75,000 leaders. Repeatedly, speed was shown to be a powerful predictor of a leader’s effectiveness. As the authors demonstrate, speed is produced not by frantic activity but by skillful execution of several key behaviors. Step by step, they show how to increase your own speed, anticipate trends and be more productive. Speed gives you a much-needed competitive advantage in business and in life.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• How to overcome “speed bumps,” challenges and obstacles.
• Tactics and strategies for speeding up critical elements of your day.
• Quicker, more effective communication.
• Behaviors that increase speed and spark innovation in yourself and others

Don’t Miss our Next Webinar: Embrace Clarity to Reach Your Full Potential

new-claritybook-website

Date: Thursday, April 6th
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Speaker: Dr. Brit Poulson

Click here to register for free!

Would you rather be right or effective?

We all see the world through “reality maps” we’ve made about life. But the truth is, these maps are highly subjective and full of blind spots that lead to ineffective choices, toxic patterns, and miscommunication that holds us back from having stronger relationships, getting better results, and realizing our full potential.

In this Soundview Live webinar, Embrace Clarity to Reach Your Full Potential, Dr. Brit Poulson, shares the cognitive framework that he has developed over 30 years as a leadership coach. This presentation will help you pinpoint your blind spots, move through them, and broaden your perspective so you can be freer, happier, and more effective.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Have confidence in your own decisions
  • Build stronger team relationships
  • Broaden your perspective and invite new possibilities
  • Develop strategies on how to navigate complex situations and personal conflicts

Friday Speed Review! Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

The Tactics, Routines and Habits of Billionaires, Icons and World-Class Performers

Speed Review: Tools of TitansChampion snowboarder Shaun White reveals that he always approaches major competitions with both serious goals (win the Vancouver Olympics) and silly goals (wear stars-and-stripes pants on the cover of Rolling Stone). “It takes a lot of pressure off,” he tells podcaster and author Tim Ferriss. “Winning the Olympics is a very big goal, it’s a very stressful goal to have. So it’s nice to have something else to offset it. Everything was so serious at the time, and that was just my way of dealing with it.”

Conversations and Facts

White’s unexpected but effective method for dealing with intense pressure is one example of the many gems found in Ferriss’ latest book, Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers. This 670-page collection of notes offers lessons, snippets of conversations and surprising facts from more than 100 of his podcast guests. There is, for example, this quote from Peter Diamandis, the engineer and entrepreneur who founded the $10 million XPRIZE for private space travel. “I talk to CEOs all the time, and I say, ‘Listen, the day before something is truly a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea. If it wasn’t a crazy idea, it’s not a breakthrough; it’s an incremental improvement. ’”

White and Diamandis exemplify the astounding diversity of the highly successful people in the book, ranging from famous CEOs and company founders to athletes and coaches to business writers, cartoonists, generals, professors and actors. Tools of Titans is divided into three parts that reflect Benjamin Franklin’s three measures of success: Healthy, Wealthy and Wise. Ferriss notes in his introduction that “Wealthy” includes not only money but also an “abundance in time, relationships and more.”

There’s no doubt that finding the right category for many of his guests would be a challenge. Where does one put photographer Chase Jarvis or actor Kevin Costner, for example? (They finished in Wealthy and Wise, respectively.) Ferriss puts Dilbert creator Scott Adams in the Wealthy category, a decision to which this reviewer takes exception: Is there anyone wiser than Dilbert?

At any rate, the entry for Adams offers a glimpse of the combination of insights, facts and factoids offered in each profile. Ferriss explains…(click here to read the full review)

Follow-Up Q&A with Best-Selling Author, Patty Azzarello

Image result for patty azzarello moveOn Thursday, March 2nd, Soundview hosted a webinar with Patty Azzarello, author of Move: How Decisive Leaders Execute Strategy Despite Obstacles, Setbacks, and Stalls.

Patty was kind enough to provide further insights on executing strategy:


Join us for our next Soundview Live webinar on Thursday, March 9th, How to Become the Person Others Follow, with author and speaker, Joshua Spodek. Click here to register.


 

Q: Can you describe the tools used to address the details revealed in the conversations that represent major influencers to the conversation and that need to be shared globally.

A: What needs to be shared globally? More than you think!

We all have a tendency to take for granted what we know ourselves. It is not interesting to us because we already know it. 

It is a valuable and important habit to keep track of the things you are learning and seeing when you have conversations with colleagues, customers, management, media, sales and service people, headquarters people. We are all global employees. When we are learning something we need to always keep in mind our global counterparts and make an effort to share our information with them.

When I was running sales and marketing for a global business unit, every day someone in my headquarters organization would come to me for approval of a plan. My first question would always be, “what did the people in Europe and Asia say about this?”. I asked this question of someone in my organization almost every day for more than a year. Get in the habit of listening on purpose and sharing information on purpose. Share more than you personally think is interesting. And remember not to only share information globally, also make an effort to create genuine rapport and conversation with your global counterparts. 

Friday Book Review! Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole

Image result for hopping over the rabbit holeGrowing up on Long Island, young Anthony Scaramucci had only one dream: to own his own company. In his book, Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole: How Entrepreneurs Turn Failure into Success, Scaramucci, a hedge fund manager and conservative TV personality, recalls his success in building up his Long Island Newsday paper route through hard work and creativity. He would, for example, get free newspapers from his managers and deliver them to houses that did not subscribe, then follow up with a visit the following day, asking the “nice ladies at the door” if they enjoyed the free paper and would like to subscribe. They often did.


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As Scaramucci explains, he enjoyed receiving the money from the paper route, but his pleasure in building up his route was about much more than money. “I felt proud,” he writes. “Proud of my accomplishment. Proud that I was doing something that served people. Proud that I made people happy.” Yes, he liked the money, he continues, “but more than anything, I loved the sense of pride I felt in building something. Of hustling day-in and day-out to earn my keep. Of being my own boss.”

An Entrepreneurial Blueprint

In Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole, Scaramucci combines colorful and well-described biographical details with how-to advice drawn from the stories that end each chapter. The result is a solid overview of attitudes and approaches that can help entrepreneurs succeed.

The chapter called “An Entrepreneurial Blueprint,” for example, ends with four valuable pieces of advice:

  1. Don’t spend money on the wrong things. Scaramucci describes visiting the offices of a new investment company at the request of a mutual friend. The founder of the company, a highly respected bond trader, leads Scaramucci on a 40-minute tour of the sumptuous offices, with long discussions about the furniture and art collection. When Scaramucci returns to his own offices, he warns his friend that the bond trader will be out of business in one year.

Click here to continue reading to find out the other 3 pieces of advice.

 

Learn how to work without stress

largeIf you’re like most people, you probably think that stress is an inevitable part of life. The truth is it’s not. In a groundbreaking 30-year study, Dr. Derek Roger has discovered that everything we think we know about stress and how we should “manage” it is just plain wrong. Stress is not a natural response to the pressures of work. It’s a choice that you make, consciously or not, to worry and fret and agonize over the work you need to do instead of just doing it. Why do some people get stressed while others stay calm, cool and collected under pressure? The answer lies in resilience –– your ability to cope with challenges and thrive under adversity –– rather than ruminating and obsessing over them. The key to “managing” stress is to stop it before it starts.


You can always count on summaries of New Releases every month when you subscribe to Soundview! Find out more.


To be resilient, flexible and ready for anything. Work Without Stress offers a radically different approach to stress. It’s about being resilient. Flexible. Mentally awake and in the moment. It’s about changing your mindset to keep things in perspective instead of adding fuel to the fire with negative thoughts. The techniques you’ll find in this book are powerful, practical and proven to work –– without stress.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:

• Why stress is not an inevitable part of life.
• The difference between pressure and stress.
• To control your attention and become more resilient.
• To practice resilient communication and lead organizational change without stress.