Becoming the Boss

NEW RULES FOR A NEW GENERATION

Lindsey Pollak, author of Becoming the Boss, is a Gen Xer (born between 1965 and 1982), and she will be the first to tell you that Gen Xers are not going to make a huge difference in the world. The reason: there just aren’t that many of them. After the massive boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964), the next generation that will make a significant impact on the world is the equally massive Gen Y, or “millennial” generation (born between 1982 and 2000). Millennials are already stepping into leadership roles and will soon dominate the top ranks in government and business. Becoming the Boss is a manual for members of the millennial generation about to step into leadership positions, if they haven’t done so already.

Advice for Future Leaders

Pollak’s first piece of advice for these future leaders is to be the “CEO of You.” In two chapters (entitled “be” and “be.com”), Pollak describes how to build an offline and online personal brand, covering everything from handshakes to eliminating your online presence of any negative images. She also offers an in-depth step-by-step plan for building the most effective LinkedIn profile.

In other chapters, Pollak covers

  •     Communication. Millennials must also know how to mix high-tech and “old school” communication methods — it’s still important to know how to carry on face-to-face conversations.
  •     Managing. Pollak writes that today’s managers have new challenges, such as dealing with a workforce that is more diverse than ever before. With command-and-control leadership no longer acceptable (or workable), today’s manager must also be more transparent and open with their employees and colleagues than in the past.
  •     Prioritizing. Given the multiple, 24/7 digital forms of communication, generation Y is the “busiest and most stressed out generation in history,” writes Pollak. Effective time and information management is key, and that means being able to prioritize and delegate as well as avoid losing too much energy on stress. One suggestion: cut down on trivial decisions by, for example, laying out your clothes the night before or having the same breakfast every weekday morning. It may not seem like much, but research shows such trivial decisions take a toll.
  •     Connecting. Pollak suggests that millennials looking to move up gather a “rotating advisory board” of about five different types of mentors: traditional mentors, who share their wisdom; co-mentors, who are traditional mentors who teach but also learn from the younger people they are mentoring; sponsors, that is, people who can actually offer you that promotion or work on your behalf; peers, who are in your shoes; and (a very generation-specific suggestion) Mom and/or Dad — as long as they stay in the background!
  •     Continuous growth. Pollak closes the book with a reminder that everyone must continuously strive to stay current and improve. Among her recommendations: Stay humble, commit, change jobs and, a bit surprisingly, “make yourself feel old.” “You’ll be amazed at how fast the next generation sneaks up and you’re the one complaining about ‘kids today,’” Pollak tells her Gen Y readers. The answer: you’ll continue to grow if you develop relationships with interesting people who are “young and hipper than you are.”

Pollak is the author of Getting from College to Career, a book she was inspired to write as a result of her own experiences. In Becoming the Boss, Pollak, an independent consultant and speaker, again builds on her own experiences to lay out a thoughtful and comprehensive overview of the skills and attitudes any millennial will need if they ever have any hopes of becoming the boss.

Insight Into the Selling Process

Are you in sales? If so, what would you give to know the secret that top sellers have over second place sellers?

Mike Schultz and John Doerr studied more than 700 business-to-business purchases made by buyers who represented a total of $3.1 billion in annual purchasing power. When they compared the winners to the second-place finishers, they found surprising results. Not only do sales winners sell differently, they sell radically differently, than the second-place finishers. A new breed of seller-the insight seller-is winning the sale with strong prices and margins even in the face of increasing competition and commoditization.

In Insight Selling, Schultz and Doerr share the surprising results of their research on what sales winners do differently, and outline exactly what you need to do to transform yourself and your team into insight sellers. They introduce a simple three-level model based on what buyers say tip the scales in favor of the winners:

Level 1 “Connect.” Winners connect the dots between customer needs and company solutions, while also connecting with buyers as people.

Level 2 “Convince.” Winners convince buyers that they can achieve maximum return, that the risks are acceptable, and that the seller is the best choice among all options.

Level 3 “Collaborate.” Winners collaborate with buyers by bringing new ideas to the table, delivering new ideas and insights, and working with buyers as a team.

If you would like to learn more about the results of their research and the details of their three-level model, join us on December 11th for our Soundview Live webinar: What Sales Winners Do Differently. Start 2015 out strong with these principles at your side, and become a top seller.

Book Review: Pitch Perfect

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by Bill McGowan and
Alisa Bowman

Effective communication is at the core of professional success. The difference between signing a deal or losing an account is how you communicate your message. It is important to be pitch perfect, precisely the right tone to the right person, to advance in your career. Renowned media coach Bill McGowan, along with journalist Alisa Bowman, show how to communicate with confidence during the pivotal moments of life in Pitch Perfect. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

“Holding your audience’s attention is like winning a tennis match at Wimbledon. You better have a clearly defined strategy, execute it brilliantly and muzzle any inner voice of self-doubt, or you’ll get crushed,” write McGowan and Bowman. They offer Seven Principles of Persuasion to construct the right message and deliver it using the right language, verbally and nonverbally. These principles are based upon years of McGowan’s experience communicating and succeeding via multiple mediums. Of the seven, the Scorsese Principle discusses keeping your audience engaged with visual aids to illustrate your story. This principle is based upon Martin Scorcese and his ability to tell stories that listeners can visualize. Images are more memorable than words, so in order to capture and hold the attention of your audience, you need to illustrate your point with stories they can imagine.

McGowan and Bowman share how to get people to remember what you have said. Executives will learn how to overcome common mistakes and implement a better way of communicating using effective verbal and nonverbal language with Pitch Perfect.

Don’t Be Blind-Sided in a Crisis

If your company or community was facing a major crisis, who would you want to coach you through it? Someone with experience in dealing with crises of course. How about someone like Bruce Blythe?

Blythe and Crisis Management Institute offered onsite crisis consultations to more than 200 companies in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, as well as for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina in 1992 and 2005, corporate and commercial air crashes, an Ecuadorian jungle rescue of kidnap and ransom hostages 2001,a Coca Cola truck/bus crash in Texas that killed 23 school children in 1989, earthquakes in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and multiple workplace shootings.

With that kind of experience, we just had to invite him to share with our subscribers how they can deal effectively with the crises that come up around them. Here is what Bruce promises to provide during our 60 minute webinar: A Manager’s Guide to Crisis Leadership.

• Crisis Response – Blythe places you in a simulation as an unprepared manager blindsided by an active shooter loose in your building.
• Crisis Preparedness – Blythe then guides you and your teams to analyze foreseeable risks, evaluate existing controls, add new ones, test and re-evaluate a realistic Plan.
• Crisis Leadership – Blythe cites examples/case studies to demonstrate what top-notch leaders would say and do during and after a disaster.
• Quick responses with detailed checklists for managing 9 major incidents.
• How to address victim’s families – dos and don’ts for communicating tragic news with empathy and dignity in person and through representatives.
• How to support employees in returning to work and productivity after a disaster or workplace violence.

So gather your team together on December 2nd at 12:00 pm ET and plan a discussion time after the webinar. Subscribers attend for free, but even if you pay the $49 registration fee that’s a great deal for your whole staff to get crisis management training. Bruce will also be taking time at the end of the session to answer your questions.

Book Review: Little Bets

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by Peter Sims

Rather than starting with a big idea or planning a whole project before you begin, many successful people and businesses make a methodical series of little bets. Little bets are low risk actions taken to test an idea. These little bets help determine direction while providing critical information from a number of little failures and small but significant wins. Bestselling author Peter Sims explores the value of taking small, experimental steps in developing breakthrough innovation in Little Bets. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

“Practicing little bets frees us from the expectation that we should know everything we need to know before we begin. By focusing on doing rather than planning, learning about the risks and pitfalls of ideas rather than trying to predict them with precision up-front, an experimental approach develops growth mind-set muscles,” writes Sims. Based on extensive research, Sims discovered methods that unshackle anyone from the constraints of conventional planning, analytical thinking and linear problem solving that our educational system overemphasizes at the expense of creativity. Sims gives readers a critical takeaway when he explains how to leverage small wins to accomplish performance goals.

Sims shares examples of successful breakthrough innovators at work including Chris Rock, the Google founders, and Jeff Bezos and the dramatic results of their efforts. With Little Bets, anyone will be able to know the right moment to make a little bet to make a difference in the world around them.