Book Review: How the World Sees You

How_the_World_Sees_You

by Sally Hogshead

In the professional world, you need to set yourself apart from the crowd to make a great first impression. You already know how you see yourself. However, do you know how the world sees you? According to Sally Hogshead in How the World Sees You, once you know what makes you valuable to others, you are more able to make a positive impression. Hogshead presents a systematic method to describe yourself in just two or three words. Readers will gain why it is necessary to know their highest value and how to discover it. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

“As conversations become more compressed and the marketplace more crowded, you need to know how others see you and respond to you. Rather than just knowing your strengths, you need to know your differences,” writes Hogshead. She explains there are seven Fascination Advantages to communicate successfully. Each Advantage has a different approach to fascinating others and building relationships. Knowing your primary Advantage will help you intentionally apply it to communicate more effectively. Once you can tap into your Advantage, you’ll become more valuable to colleagues and/or clients leading to more success.

Beyond finding out what your advantage is, you will also learn how to construct your Anthem. Your Anthem is the tagline for your personality to use as your mission statement or to captivate your audience. Much like a company’s tagline, your Anthem will tell others what makes you unique from others. With How the World Sees You, professionals at every level will increase their ability to communicate messages and develop relationships effectively and confidently.

Book Review: The Road to Reinvention

by Josh Linkner

by Josh Linkner

The most successful companies, brands, and individuals constantly are reinventing as a part of their business strategies. Organizations and people fail when they become stagnant in their prior success and do not evolve. In The Road to Reinvention, Josh Linkner offers managers the tools to reinvent your business or yourself continually that will become a competitive advantage in challenging times. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

“Study any supremely successful organization or individual, from Nike to 3M or from Madonna to Tom Hanks, and you’ll encounter a consistent theme: an ethos of reinvention whose principles embody the disruptive mindset,” writes Linkner. He identifies eight principles of the reinvention ethos for creating deliberate, productive disruption. The first principle is letting go of the past and explains that if you become stale in your past success this will suppress your imagination, which is a recipe for disaster. The other seven principles are encourage courage, embrace failure, do the opposite, imagine the possibilities, put yourself out of business, reject limits, and aim beyond. If you practice these principles, you will develop a more innovative way of thinking which is necessary to lead change.

Beyond solid methods and systematic techniques, you will learn guiding principles for rejecting the status quo and repeatedly reinventing your organization and career for continued success. In addition, there are inspiring examples of reinvention by people who soared over their competition. With The Road to Reinvention, executives can secure a strong future for both your company and your career.

How Flexible is Your Management Team?

“Flexing” is the art of switching leadership styles to more effectively work with people who are different from you. Creating flex in a company’s management style will impact all aspects of developing the talent you have, attracting future talent and building relationships with customers in this competitive marketplace.

Jane Hyun and Audrey Lee are renowned executive coaches and global leadership strategists, and they have the experience and expertise to help you create a flexible management team. We have invited them to join us for our webinar The New Playbook for Managing Across Differences where they will explain how to:

  •  Understand the Power Gap, the social distance between you and those in the workplace of different cultures, ages, and gender.
  • Flex your management style by stretching how you work and communicate with others.
  • Bridge the gap with more effective communication and practical feedback tools.
  • Multiply the effect, by teaching these skills to others and closing the power gap with clients, customers, and partners to create innovative solutions.

Join us on September 11th to hear more about “flexing” and to post your questions on this important issue.

Breakthrough Strategies for Increasing Diversity and Improving Your Bottom Line

GENDER INTELLIGENCE

Why the Glass Ceiling Still Exists
The glass ceiling is still very much intact, write diversity consultants Barbara Annis and Keith Merron in their book Gender Intelligence, not because companies are unwilling to change but because companies are approaching the problem with the wrong mindset. The most well-meaning diversity managers and their executive bosses are failing in their efforts to empower women and develop more women leaders, because they are trying to build equality in numbers and sameness in behavior. In other words, in the male-dominated workplace, Annis and Merron write, women are taught that success depends on women acting more like men. What men do makes no difference, and they don’t have to change anything; it’s women who have to change.

Other leaders insist that they don’t discriminate against women. In their companies, these leaders explain, they have “gender-blind meritocracies.” The problem is that in many organizations, the supposedly objective criteria used to judge performance is based on male tendencies. For example, high-tech firms value people who communicate in a very rapid style, who are incredibly analytical, and who will tear down any idea or anyone that demonstrates a flaw in their thinking; these are typically male traits, and not surprisingly, women avoid the resulting aggressive, conflict-ridden environment created by such traits.

Men and Women are Different

The fact is that men and women are different and will always be different, the authors emphasize. In an early chapter of the book, the authors lay out the neuroscience that reveals how the brains of men and women are structured differently — for example, women have a greater prefrontal cortex, which enhances consequential thinking and moderates social behavior, thus leading them to look for win-win solutions to conflict, while men are going to take a more competitive approach.

Thus, asking women to act like men is asking women to be inauthentic. Inauthentic behavior is not only bound to fail, but it is also unnecessary. As the authors argue, the path to what the authors call “gender intelligent” companies is based on the understanding that the different styles of women, such as their less linear, more creative and web-like approach to problem solving, are of equal value to business as the ultra-linear, blinders-on, focused approach of men. The challenge is to bring the two styles together in a productive way. As the authors explain, “Teaching women to think, act, problem-solve and lead like men devalues and discourages women while limiting the vast potential of the masculine and feminine blend in leadership that is crucial for success in tomorrow’s workplace.”

In the second half of the book, the authors focus on achieving this productive blend. They lay out, for example, the three fundamental shifts for becoming a gender- intelligent leader: 1) going from a sameness mindset to embracing the value in gender differences; 2) creating meritocracies based on different models for success; and 3) recognizing when their behaviors are not congruent with their intentions — too many leaders have gender blind spots that undermine their well-meaning efforts.

The authors also explore how functions, processes and systems work in gender-intelligent organizations. For example, Deloitte, which once depended on nearly all male consultants advising all-male clients, now recognizes that women partners who listen, are understanding and encourage dialogue can be effective and in some instances even more effective consultants than their male colleagues.

The greatest contribution of this essential book, however, is in shining a light on the fact that the glass ceiling exists not because men want it there but because both men and women working to shatter the ceiling are building their efforts on the wrong assumptions.

*Barbara Annis is also the author, along with John Gray, of Work with Me: The 8 Blind Spots Between Men and Women in Business.

Book Review: Brief

brief_Joseph_McCormack

by Joseph McCormack

We get swamped with emails and text messages daily. In a world where everyone is busy and constantly receiving information, you need to be a lean communicator. In Brief, senior marketing executive Joseph McCormack helps you develop into a master of brevity with the greatest impact. McCormack advises readers to use his step-by-step approach to becoming a brief communicator by quickly delivering your message in fewer words. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

McCormack writes how to overcome overcapacity. When you’re constantly bombarded with information, your attention span becomes short. In Brief, McCormack gives statistics on the declining attention span in the United States. The average attention span has shrunk from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight in 2012. By being brief, you’re not only working more efficiently but your message will be more effective.

He also states that achieving brevity can be difficult because of the “seven capital sins” that can hinder you. “There is no single reason why people find it hard to be brief. Love of talking seems to be the logical front-runner, but in reality, it is among a short list of seven key contributors that can be deadly if left unchecked.” Brief continues to list the seven capital sins that can be detrimental to your brevity. The seven capital sins are cowardice, confidence, callousness, comfort, confusion, complication, and carelessness. Within these “sins” there’s room for you to understand why you’re not communicating as effectively as you should so you can transform into a master of brevity. Other topics you will learn by reading this book is how to make your message more concise and how to apply BRIEF principles to every message. By doing so, you will achieve greater results in various areas of your professional life.