How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues

Image result for the ideal team playerIn his classic book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni laid out a groundbreaking approach for tackling the perilous group behaviors that destroy teamwork. Here he turns his focus to the individual, revealing the three indispensable virtues of an ideal team player. In The Ideal Team Player, Lencioni tells the story of Jeff Shanley, a leader desperate to save his uncle’s company by restoring its cultural commitment to teamwork. Jeff must crack the code on the virtues that real team players possess, and then build a culture of hiring and development around those virtues.

Beyond the fable, Lencioni presents a practical framework and actionable tools for identifying, hiring and developing ideal team players. Whether you’re a leader trying to create a culture around teamwork, a staffing professional looking to hire real team players or a team player wanting to improve yourself, this book will prove to be as useful as it is compelling.

In this summary, you will learn:
• An entertaining story of how leaders discover and embrace the three virtues of the ideal team player.
• The distinct, surprising features of the three virtues and how to recognize those features. • How people behave when they possess only one or two of the virtues.
• Principles and tips for hiring, assessing and developing people according to the three virtues.
• Tips for embedding the virtues in your organization.

How to Break Deadlocks and Resolve Ugly Conflicts (Without Money or Muscle)

Some negotiations are easy. Others are more difficult. And then there are situations that seem completely hopeless. Conflict is escalating, people are getting aggressive and no one is willing to back down. And to top it off, you have little power or other resources to work with. Harvard professor and negotiation adviser Deepak Malhotra shows how to defuse even the most potentially explosive situations and to find success when things seem impossible. Malhotra identifies three broad approaches for breaking deadlocks and resolving conflicts, and draws out scores of actionable lessons. He shows how his principles and tactics can be applied in everyday life, whether you are making corporate deals, negotiating job offers or resolving business disputes. As Malhotra reminds us, regardless of the context or which issues are on the table, negotiation is always, fundamentally, about human interaction. No matter how high the stakes or how protracted the dispute, the object of negotiation is to engage with other human beings in a way that leads to better understandings and agreements. The principles and strategies in this book will help you do this more effectively in every situation.

In this summary, you will learn:
• Three crucial levers for successful negotiation.
• Why and how to frame, or make sense of, negotiations early.
• Why the process of negotiations is just as important as the substance.
• How learning to empathize will increase your chances of success.

Check out the summary here.

Book Review: Shoe Dog By Phil Knight

Shoe DogNike is one of the world’s most famous brands. Its swoosh, famously created by an art student for just a few dollars, is ubiquitous. Its outsourcing business model is considered genius by some, controversial by others. Everyone knows Nike — or at least we think we do.

Shoe Dog, the story of Nike written by its founder, Phil Knight, offers a new perspective on the brand. Knight tells a surprisingly riveting tale. The book’s chapters are organized by year, and much of the book is spent on the first 10 years of the company (launched in 1962). As with a detective series in which we know the detective will emerge unscathed, the fact that we know the ultimate outcome of this story does not deter from the white-knuckle ride on which Knight expertly takes his readers. Knight is able to convey the fear and frustration of living on the edge that continues year after year, even as his company continues to grow. For example, Knight describes receiving the “pair count” (how many pairs of shoes shipped) from the warehouses every day. Because he depended on daily sales to generate the cash he needed to keep the business, then called Blue Ribbon Sports, alive, “the daily pair count determined my mood, my digestion, my blood pressure, because it largely determined the fate of Blue Ribbon,” he writes. “If we didn’t “sell through,” sell all the shoes in our most recent order, and quickly convert that product into cash, we’d be in big trouble.”

Blue Ribbon Sports may not be familiar to many, but it was the original name of the company that Knight founded in 1962 (the word “Nike” does not appear until nearly 200 pages into the book). Although known today as the king of outsourced manufacturing, Knight’s “Crazy Idea” — the business model he developed as a Stanford MBA student — was to introduce quality Japanese shoes to America, and specifically the Tiger, manufactured by Onitsuka Company (now Asics) in Kobe, Japan. For a number of years, Blue Ribbon Sports, a company that only existed in Knight’s mind when he traveled to Japan and told Onitsuka executives that he was its representative, was happy to be an importer of Japanese shoes — until, as Knight eloquently describes, Onitsuka decided to break its contract and surreptitiously replace BRS as distributor. The cold war battle between Knight and the man who would become his nemesis, an Onitsuka executive named Kitami, is almost worthy of the tense dance between John Le Carre’s George Smiley and the elusive Karla — which explains…(click here to continue reading this review)

Join us for our next Soundview Live webinar! Tuesday, August 23rd

Creating Memorable Content to Influence Decisions

Date: Tuesday, August 23
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Speaker: Carmen Simon, PhD

Register here

Audiences forget up to 90% of what you communicate. How can your employees and customers decide to act on your message if they only remember a tenth of it? How do you know which tenth they’ll remember? How will you stay on their minds long enough to spark the action you need?

In this Soundview Live webinar, Creating Memorable Content to Influence Decisions, Carmen Simon draws on the latest research in neuroscience and cognitive psychology to show us how to develop content that speaks to people’s hearts, stays in their heads and influences their decisions.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to create cues that attract attention and connect with your audience’s needs
  • How to use memory-influencing variables to control what your audience remembers
  • How to turn today’s intentions into tomorrow’s actions

The Industries of the Future

While Alec Ross was working as Senior Advisor for Innovation to the Secretary of State, he traveled to 41 countries, exploring the latest advances coming out of every continent. From startup hubs in Kenya to R&D labs in South Korea, Ross has seen what the future holds.

In The Industries of the Future, Ross shows us what changes are coming in the next 10 years, highlighting the best opportunities for progress and explaining why countries thrive or sputter. He examines the specific fields that will most shape our economic future, including robotics, cybersecurity, the commercialization of genomics, the next step for big data and the coming impact of digital technology on money and markets.

In each of these realms, Ross addresses the toughest questions: How will we adapt to the changing nature of work? How can the world’s rising nations hope to match Silicon Valley in creating their own innovation hotspots? The Industries of the Future takes the complex topics that many of us know to be important and boils them down into clear, plainspoken language. This is an essential book for understanding how the world works — now and tomorrow — and a must-read for businesspeople in every sector, from every country.

In this summary, you will learn:
• How robots will transform daily life and business opportunities.
• How digital technologies and big data can improve health and commerce around the globe.
• The dangers of cyberattacks and the growth of the cybersecurity industry.
• How countries can compete and succeed in the industries of the future.

Review: Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy

Most people don’t plan their lives, write Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy, authors of Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want. Instead, people drift through the years, going where circumstances take them rather than taking control.

Living Forward offers a game plan for taking control through a tool call a “Life Plan,” which, as the authors explain, will answer three vital questions.

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Whenever you make a plan, you must begin with the destination. Only by knowing where you are going can you figure out how you can best get there. For the authors, the destination of a life is one’s legacy. Thus, the first question a Life Plan answers is

How do I want to be remembered? The best way to identify your desired legacy, according to the authors, is to write your own eulogy. This rather impertinent process forces you to think about what you would like others to say about you at your funeral.

The first step, of course, is to understand who those others will be. Writing your eulogy, the authors explain, begins with identifying all of your key relationships, either by individual name or by group (e.g., my peers in the company). You then describe how you want to be remembered by each group.

Most of us live extremely busy lives. However, the authors note, a busy life is not a sign of success if you are not busy doing the right things: the things that are most important to you. The second question answered by the life plan is about priorities:

What matters most to me? To help readers determine their priorities, the authors offer a tool based on what they call Life Accounts. The term is chosen for its connotation of bank accounts — that is, accounts that either have a growing balance, consistent balance or declining balance. Grouped in three concentric circles around the YOU at the center, the first three Life Accounts — spiritual, intellectual and physical — involve your relationships with yourself. The second concentric circle of three Life Accounts — marital, social and parental — involves your relationships with others. Finally, the outermost concentric circle of three Life Accounts — vocational (your job), avocational (your hobbies) and financial — concerns your output.

These are prototypical Life Accounts, but the authors emphasize that people may have different accounts and even a different number of accounts. Every individual must determine what is most important to them and, thus, create their own Life Accounts. Whatever the specific accounts may be, “the goal is to have a positive balance in each of your Life Accounts,” the authors write.

The authors cite two criteria that for them are the essential components of a positive balance in a Life Account…..(click here to continue reading)

 

Build and Extend Trust in the Workplace

When we extend trust, we generate trust; when we withhold trust, we generate distrust. According to Stephen M.R. Covey, Greg Link and Rebecca R. Merrill in Smart Trust, our actions lead either toward a virtuous upward cycle of prosperity, energy and joy or toward a vicious downward cycle that eventually results in the destruction of those outcomes.

Either we add to the renaissance of trust, or we contribute to the crisis of trust –– in our personal lives, our families, our communities, our teams, our organizations, our nations and our world. It’s not enough to merely give lip service to the idea of trust. It’s not enough to use trust as a pragmatic technique in certain situations when it’s to our advantage. It’s not enough to trust only once in a while, when we think there is no risk involved.

The greatest and lasting dividends of trust come only when we choose trust as our underlying approach –– the operating system, if you will, that consistently governs our day-in and day-out choices and decisions. The actions of high-trust individuals, teams and organizations worldwide grow out of three specific beliefs about trust:

1. A belief in being worthy of trust. At the root of the belief in trust is a belief in trustworthiness or credibility –– in the importance of acting with character and competence so that both you and others know that you can be trusted. Leaders who have a core belief in trustworthiness do not consider that belief as merely a practical option or as a technique to get what they want in a particular situation. Rather, they are committed to being trustworthy even when it’s hard, even when there’s a price to pay. In fact, we might say that the real test of trustworthiness and credibility is doing the right thing, especially when there’s a cost or consequence.

2. A belief that most people can be trusted. Successful high-trust people and companies create their success by choosing to believe that most people can be trusted –– not all people (that wouldn’t be smart), but most people. When companies and leaders choose to believe that most people can be trusted, it plays out in organizational design, affecting systems, processes, structures and even strategies.

3. A belief that extending trust is a better way to lead. Successful high-trust leaders believe that extending trust is a better way to lead, primarily because trust inspires people to perform, it’s reciprocated, and it ultimately leads to greater prosperity, energy and joy. In order to increase influence and grow trust in a team, an organization, a community, a family or a relationship, someone has to take the first step. That’s what leaders do. They go first. They lead out in extending trust.

In fact, the first job of a leader is to inspire trust, and the second is to extend it. This is true whether a person has a formal leadership role, such as CEO, a manager, team leader or parent, or an informal role of influence, such as work associate, marriage partner or friend. Bottom line, if we’re not inspiring and extending trust, we’re not leading. We might be managing or administering, but we’re not leading. We manage things; we lead people. And real leadership requires trust.

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Review: The End of Average by Todd Rose

Drivers can adjust car seats in three different ways: they can push the entire seat up or back; they can move the bottom of the seat lower or higher; and they can tilt the back of the seat forward or backwards. These adjustments allow the car seat to be adjusted to the specific requirements of the individual driver. At first glance, this adjustment feature does not sound particularly revolutionary. And yet, as Todd Rose explains in his brilliant new book, The End of Average, adjustable seating is a rejection of one of the defining characteristics of our society: the dictatorship of the average.

Grade-point averages, standardized tests, performance approval ratings, whether you’re considered overweight or underweight — all sorts of measures are based on the idea that there is an average, and you are measured and judged based on how far you deviate from that average.

In the opening section of his book, Rose tells the story of how we became the age of average. It all began with a young Belgian social scientist named Adolphe Quetelet (pronounced “Kettle-Lay”), who applied the astronomy method of measuring averages to people, declaring that average represented perfection, while deviations from the average were errors. While “average” no longer denotes perfection, it does denote, writes Rose, “a prototypical representation of a group — a type.” Another social scientist, Englishman Francis Galton, built on Quetelet’s work to develop the concept of ranking (above average becomes a desirable status, not a deviation from perfection). Frederick W. Taylor used averages to develop the concept of standardization for the workplace. Education reformer Edward Thorndike adapted Taylor’s workplace standardization and applied it to the classroom.

And thus the age of average took over. The one exception was a 23-year-old scientist in the 1950s who convinced the United States Air Force that planes with average-sized cockpits were contributing to the hike in crashes. His suggestion: adjustable cockpits. (To him we owe a car’s adjustable seats.) How did young Gilbert Daniels convince the Air Force to develop cockpits that could be individually sized? He compared the 10 different measurements used in the average cockpit to the measurements of more than 4,000 pilots.

The result: Not a single pilot was of average size on all the measures (in spite of Daniels providing a range of sizes for each measure). The average-sized cockpit fit nobody. The bottom line is that averages can help us understand groups of people (French vs. British fighter pilots) but will not help us understand individuals. Daniels offers an alternative to understanding individuals, what he calls the Three Principles of Individualism.

The first is the jaggedness principle….

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Developing a High-Performing Team That Delivers Results

Join us for our next Soundview Live webinar – tomorrow!

Date: Thursday, August 4
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Speaker: Mario Moussa

Click here to register

In order to build a high-performing team that delivers results, a deceptively simple philosophy comes to mind: set a direction, try to stay on track, and make adjustments when necessary. Easy to do? Hardly–especially when the typical workday is time-crunched, stressful, and deadline-driven.

In this Soundview Live webinar, Developing a High-Performing Team that Delivers Results, Mario Moussa presents us with a how-to guide that offers the pragmatic advice you need to help you gain buy-in for shared objectives, assign roles to the right people, and establish norms for effective collaboration.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to align every member of your team behind a motivating vision
  • How to make team meetings efficient and productive
  • How to close the gap between stated goals and actual behaviors

Discover the 12 Levers of Success

Primary GreatnessFrom Stephen R. Covey — the late, legendary author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People — a new set of rules for achieving a happy and fulfilling life of primary greatness. Many of us are hurting. We have chronic problems, dissatisfactions and disappointments. The idea of living a “great life” seems a distant dream.Too often, however, we have the wrong idea of what a great life is. Stephen R. Covey believed there were only two ways to live: a life of primary greatness or a life of secondary greatness. Through his classic books and seminars, he taught that the intrinsic rewards of primary greatness — integrity, responsibility and meaningful contribution — far outweigh the superficial rewards of secondary greatness — money, popularity and the self-absorbed, pleasure-ridden life that some people consider “success.”

In Primary Greatness, a posthumous work, Covey lays out the 12 levers of success that will lead to a life of primary greatness: Integrity, Contribution, Priority, Sacrifice, Service, Responsibility, Loyalty, Reciprocity, Diversity, Learning, Teaching and Renewal. For the first time, Covey defines each of these 12 qualities and how they provide the leverage to make your daily life truly “great.”

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• The key differences between primary and secondary greatness.
• Why principles ultimately govern values.
• The four human endowments that help us align ourselves to principles.
• The most important features of the 12 key principles, or levers.