Friday Book Review! Be the Business by Martha Heller

heller-book-excerpt2-100684008-primary.idgeThe information-age tidal wave has submerged our companies and organizations. If the IT department was once contained in a room where brainy technologists worked their magic, today every office, every desk, every employee and manager — and every customer! — is involved with the company’s information technology.

In many ways, this new digital era (“new” relative to eras, of course) has not changed the core mandate of most executives and managers. What has changed is how that mandate is fulfilled. At the C-suite level, for example, the CEO must still guide strategy, instill a culture, lead his or her top management team, and take responsibility for the successes and failures of the company. The Chief Marketing Officer is responsible for the successful positioning of the company’s products in the marketplace. The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company.

The role of the Chief Information Officer, however, has been dramatically altered. In her thoughtful new book, Be the Business: CIOs in the New Era of IT, Martha Heller explains the challenges and opportunities that CIOs must face and embrace. The book’s title — as spare and relevant as her chapters — tells the story: CIOs must “be the business.” Information technology is in every nook and cranny of a business. Information technology is back office and front office and connecting the two. Information technology is about digital marketing but also — as one CIO tells Heller — about turning operations into “algorithms.”

CDOs Are Not the Solution

Today’s organizations recognize the omnipresence of information technology in every department and function. One response, according to Heller, is the creation of a new Chief Digital Officer (CDO) function — in essence, relegating the CIO to the operational side of information technology as the fancy new CDO occupies himself or herself with the strategic implications of the digital age. Unfortunately, CDOs are often glorified CMOs — they understand the digital contribution to marketing but do not have a complete end-to-end grasp of the organization…(to continue reading this review, click here).

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Friday Book Review! Master Your Time, Master Your Life by Brian Tracy

Image result for brian tracy master your time master your lifeSuccess guru Brian Tracy’s new book is centered on the concept of time. Although each chapter has the word “time” in it, Master Your Time, Master Your Life is not about time management as much as it is about life goals and on what areas to focus your efforts.

The first chapter, for example, is about “Strategic Planning and Goal Setting Time.” Successful people, Tracy writes, are those who plan their strategy and select their goals. “One of the most important types of time is the time you spend thinking, deciding and planning how to achieve the things you really want in life.”

Tracy recommends establishing a personal strategic plan based on four questions:

  • Where am I now in my life? Review your accomplishments, family situation, financial situation, and health and fitness.
  • How did I get to where I am today? Identify the choices and decisions that led to where you are today. Recognize the sources of your successes — and setbacks.
  • Where do I want to go in the future? Imagine a perfect life five years in the future. Get into the details of how it would be different from the present.
  • How can I get from where I am to where I want to be? Identify what you need to be doing today to make that ideal future become a reality.

Some of the chapters, such as “Productive Time” and “Work Time,” involve more conventional time management suggestions.

In the “Work Time” chapter, Tracy dives into how to overcome the “seven major time wasters” at work (telephone, email and text interruptions; unexpected visitors; meetings; fire fighting; procrastination; socializing and idle conversations; and indecision and delay).

In the “Productive Time” chapter, Tracy highlights the three keys to productivity:

  • Clarity. Tracy’s focus here is on a clear understanding of expected results — the production part of productivity. Exactly what will make people see you as dependable and valuable?
  • Focus. Productivity depends on a single-minded focus on the task at hand. Multitasking productivity, writes Tracy, is a myth.
  • Concentration. Being able to concentrate for extended periods of time is a difficult but vital skill, he writes.

To read this review in full, click here. Don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Executive Book Alert newsletter to receive reviews just like this one every month right to your inbox!

 

Upcoming Webinar: What Hackers and Punks Can Teach Us About Navigating the New Normal

featuring Geoffrey Colon
Thursday, January 12, 2017
1:00 PM EST
Register here

Technology hasn’t just reshaped mass media, it’s altering behavior as well. And getting through to customers will take some radical rethinking.

Toss the linear plan, strip away conventions, and join Soundview Live for our webinar, What Hackers & Punks Can Teach Us About Navigating the New Normal with Geoffrey Colon, on a provocative, fast-paced tour of our changing world.

Packed with trends, predictions, and stories from a career spent pushing boundaries, this event will propel you out of your comfort zone and into the disruptive mindset you need for future success.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Where selling is dead, but ongoing conversation thrives
  • Where consumers generate the best content about brands
  • Where people tune out noise and listen to feelings
  • Where curiosity leads the marketing team
  • Where growth depends on merging analytics with boundless creativity

Learning Leadership by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

1119144280Leadership is a set of abilities, and like any other skill set it can be learned and improved. Becoming an exemplary leader isn’t easy. It takes self-belief, aspiration, grit, support and deliberate practice. Learning Leadership delivers the concrete framework and practical steps for building exemplary leaders for today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. Whether you’re an experienced leader or someone new to the role, this comprehensive guide offers evidenced-based strategies for taking charge of your own leadership development and unleashing the leader within. Based on more than 30 years of research, with data from more than 70 countries, this insightful treatment on learning explores the fundamentals of becoming an exemplary leader and presents a solid foundation on which to strengthen and expand leadership skills. For those in roles of mentoring and coaching people, the practical and proven framework in this resource enables you to develop leadership potential in the emerging leaders with whom you work. An exemplary leader must master many skills, but one of the most important is the ability to learn. Learning Leadership challenges you to do the meaningful and disciplined work necessary to becoming the best you can be.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• Authoritative explanations on what’s inhibiting leadership development.
• To take initiative for your own leadership development.
• The most critical leadership skill is the ability to learn.
• The first thing you need to learn in leadership is who you are.

12 Qualities Your Next Chief Data Officer Should Have (continued)

12 Qualities Your Next Chief Data Officer Should Have Infographic

by 

7. Be Technology Savvy and Understand the Latest Trends

A CDO deals with both the IT as the business aspects of Big Data and should, therefore, understand the concepts of data mining, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data modeling and data governance. Not only from the business perspective, but also from the IT perspective. In addition, the world of big data changes rapidly and new big data trends constantly emerge; he or she should, therefore, remain up-to-date with the latest trends.

8. Be Open to Input from Others

The CDO should not be the only one calling the shots. Of course, when a decision needs to be made on important, company-wide projects, the CDO should, together with the rest of the board, make the decision. However, a CDO should also empower his/her employees to make their own decisions within their projects. The Chief Data Officer should give control to his or her staff and should avoid micro-managing them.

9. Be Customer-Driven

When dealing with Big Data, organizations should take the customer into account in everything they do. This human-centered approach is vital. When projects are developed based on the actual needs of the customer, the chances of success are a lot higher. In addition, when developing big data projects, the CDO should ensure that the customer does not become the victim in terms of lost privacy and should ensure that the customer’s privacy is protected.

10. Be Security Driven

My vision is that all organizations will be hacked and if you are not being hacked, you are simply not important enough as an organization. Therefore, a CDO should have a strong security focus. As a CDO, the starting point should be that you will be hacked and if that’s the case, how do you prevent that hackers get access to any personal data or important company data or systems. A CDO should enforce the right security processes, implement the right encryption measures and use right IT Operations Analytics tools to detect attacks in real-time.

11. Be a Visionary Leader

A CDO needs to have a vision where he/she wants to bring the company to in the next 5-10 years. As mentioned Big Data projects take a lot of time to be completed and a strong and clear vision will help to complete the projects in the right way.

12. Be a Change Manager

Big data requires a culture change within the organization. Moving to a data-driven and information-centric culture is difficult as people have a natural inertia to change. Therefore, the Chief Data Officer should be a strong change manager, who is capable of changing people’s behavior within the company.

*This article was featured in our Leadership Newsletter series. To sign up for this free publication, click here.

Upcoming Webinar! True Stories from the Management Trenches

ihwx-aed34eff-119a-4bf3-af4d-f073535273d3-200-175Date: Thursday, January 5
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Speaker: Jathan Janove

Click here to register

From dealing with underperformers to fighting off lawsuits, employee problems are the bane of a manager’s existence. So what do most managers do? Ignore them! And that’s a recipe for more problems.

In this Soundview Live webinar, True Stories from the Management Trenches, HR expert and employment attorney Jathan Janove takes you inside the messy reality of situations gone wrong. These sometimes funny, always cautionary tales reinforce crucial lessons for managers. And each story suggests simple strategies to turn the situation around.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to develop Star Profiles for each position to increase engagement and determine whether or not an employee belongs.
  • The role management plays in exacerbating (or easing) trouble.
  • The memorable lessons that help managers motivate underachievers.
  • How to use discipline without inviting legal action.

Small Acts of Leadership

Image result for small acts of leadershipIn business today, there is no offline and there is no downtime. Professionals are both exhausted and depleted. Being constantly tethered to our work through technology makes us overwhelmed and shortsighted, and deprives us of time for meaningful reflection or thoughtful connection to our professional communities, and often even to our own families. For us to thrive –– not simply survive –– in this accelerating economy, we need to adopt small, intentional behaviors and practice them each day. From simply taking care of our rest and exercise to building our self-confidence and embracing challenges, author Shawn Hunter’s latest book, Small Acts of Leadership, will guide you through a series of incremental steps you can take to build a stronger version of yourself and make a broader impact in the world. Combining research and meaningful interviews with business leaders around the world, Hunter presents the reader with 12 critical competencies that are consistently present in the daily behaviors of today’s most successful leaders.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• Strategies to build confidence and believe in yourself.
• The key link between meaningful work and gratitude.
• The importance of autonomy and authenticity in organizations.
• The essential qualities of inspiring leaders.
• How “positive deviance” can distinguish the best organizations

Friday Book Review! 5 Habits to Lead from Your Heart

Image result for 5 habits to lead from your heartHow do you choose to react to experiences both good and bad? According to Johnny Covey, author of 5 Habits to Lead from Your Heart, there are two choices to make: You can react with your head or you can react with your heart. When you react with your head, he writes, you are mostly trying to protect yourself. In essence, you are acting out of fear or self-preservation. A better alternative, Covey argues, is to react with your heart instead — to focus on progressing instead of protecting. Covey uses this dichotomous choice in response to experience to build a head-to-heart framework. Across the top of the framework are his three Ps of progress: previous, present and possible. The present is the experience you are reacting to, Covey writes, and the other two Ps represent the different choices: the “head” choice to retreat to the comfort of the past (the previous) or the “heart” choice to reach for the possible. Under previous and possible, Covey places the three phases of experience: think, feel and do. Thus, faced with an experience, one can react by thinking, feeling and doing what was done previously or, on the contrary, by thinking, feeling and doing something new, ambitious and courageous so that you can progress. Covey’s five habits are intended to lead his readers to choose possible over previous.

Making the Right Choices

The first habit is to Be Courageous. For Covey, this is the foundational habit of leading from your heart. Covey describes, as an example, the decision he and his wife made to become foster parents — when at the time they had four children aged 5, 3, 2 and 7 months. Their heads told them not to become foster parents (as did many of their friends and family). However, Covey writes, they took the plunge and became foster parents to two girls, who are now teenagers thriving in the Covey household. Covey’s second habit is to Be You. In this section, Covey urges readers to understand why they feel the way they do (their core motivations), what they are good at doing and how they think about things. In each of these areas, Coveys offers four archetypes. For example, “visionaries,” “thinkers,” “artists” and “researchers” are the do archetypes, each having different strengths. “Managers,” “project managers,” “organizers” and “playmakers” think differently. And our core motives, Covey writes, will lead each one of us to be a “producer,” “people” person, “playful” person or “peaceful” person.

To continue reading this review, click here, or sign up for our FREE monthly Executive Book Alert newsletter!

Webinar 12/15: The Art of Communication: Your Competitive Edge

The Art of Communication

Date: Thursday, December 15
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Speaker: Jim Stovall and Raymond Hull

Click here to register for this webinar

Who we are, what we believe, and everything we stand for goes from theory to reality when we communicate. In this Soundview Live webinar, The Art of Communication, Jim Stovall and Dr. Raymond Hull use their decades of combined experience, research, and natural abilities to powerfully illustrate the specifics of effective communication.

Stovall’s revealing stories mixed with Dr. Raymond Hull’s straightforward, factual approach combine to make this a must-read for businesspeople, salespeople, entrepreneurs, teachers, pastors, academics, and anyone wanting to improve their lives.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to consider your audience to adjust your communication style.
  • What your non-verbal communication says about you.
  • The importance of communication through conduct.
  • How to develop active listening skills.
  • The importance of creating a comfortable environment for effective communication.

Choose to Learn, Choose to Grow

Image result for learn and growYou know you can do more with your career. And the future is going to demand more of you. The problem is you are so busy keeping up with the day-to-day that you can’t prepare for tomorrow. It’s time to stretch, to prepare for tomorrow’s workplace and put yourself in control of the career of your dreams, according to Karie Willyerd and Barbara Mistick in Stretch.

To remain relevant in spite of change, you need to know how to learn in any situation, open your thinking to a world beyond where you are now, connect to the people who can help you make your future happen, see experiences that will prepare you for tomorrow, and stay motivated through the ups and downs of a career so you can bounce forward.

Not only is your engagement all on you, but your development is, too. Research shows that the number one attribute executives value in employees is a high degree of education and qualification. Yet fewer than one-third reported that their companies offered incentives or benefits related to obtaining more education, whether it was degree-oriented or job-specific.

You must continue to learn and not just in a classroom or in other formal learning settings. In a sense, we must all learn a living because, as people interviewed have said, “It’s on me to develop myself.” You must learn on the job, often “on the fly” if you are to have any hope of keeping up.

A strategy for learning on the fly is to commit to a mindset that you have the capacity to learn and grow. With a growth mindset, opportunities to learn will abound, and you will find yourself more open to new experiences, and you will be more likely to achieve the skill improvement and professional development goals you set for yourself.

Even if you have a defined career path at your company, you may not be willing to follow that prescribed plan. You need options in order to maximize your personal development.

The reward of an ever-expanding network is powerful and often transformational. Networks facilitate collaboration on the job, assist in meeting your overall career goals, and provide support in celebrating life’s successes and rebounding from its disappointments.

Building diversity into your networks prepares you to anticipate change and make sure you have the resources to stay relevant at work. It’s your personal system to access when you need to understand changes in your field or industry.

Understanding what you want your network to do for you can help you determine its ideal size and makeup. When you change to a new role, you must also think about what and how your network needs to shift.

The best network stretches you. Every time you are with them, you feel you have upped your game and are thinking a little differently. Since we can’t maintain close connections to everyone in our networks, focus on the five you could groom to help you thrive.

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