Guest Blog, Part II: Specific Secrets that Prevent Leaders from Success

Webinar: How to Win Big in Business and in LifePart II of AmyK Hutchens’ guest blog on the specific secrets that prevent leaders from achieving greater success faster.

Don’t forget to sign up for AmyK’s webinar:
How to Win Big in Business and in Life
Date: Thursday, February 4, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

 

(Continuation of Part I)

  1. Likeability Malady Leaders do not wake up and consciously think, “What can I do today to get my followers to like me?” However, they often avoid conflict by choosing harmony over discord and choosing likeability over criticism.

When leaders focus on being liked, they unconsciously attempt to please the people they’re leading, and people-pleasing can lead to a lack of clarity, integrity and truth about what they stand for, where they’re going and why. People-pleasing alienates followers and fractures the group, reaping the exact opposite of what they were trying to do – gather people together for a common cause, a common goal, a common destination. When leaders focus too much on being liked, they lose the courage to say what needs to be said or do what needs to done. This lack of courage generates missed opportunities and yields diluted results.

Focusing on leading does not require leaders to abandon kindness. Behaving in a likeable manner, showing mercy, offering forgiveness, and demonstrating self-respect conveys leadership and yields results—a bonus, ironic byproduct is that others followers often like leaders more when they’re focused on leading instead of worrying about likeability. Instead of trying to be everything to all people, leaders need to be themselves in order to maintain integrity in their words and actions. Those that follow them will do so because they believe in the authenticity of the leader and his or her ultimate mission.

  1. Comparison Condition is one of the worst forms of self-abuse. Many leaders are so busy comparing themselves to other businesses and/or other leaders, living in a world of “should haves” and “should bes,” that they lose focus on their own path to success. When leaders compare themselves to everything and everyone, they end up taking detours, trying out other peoples’ paths. They dilute their talent and ultimately lose their mojo. When leaders lose their sense of self, when they drift too far, they often burn out and lose their followers. Staying on their own path is integral to focus, productivity, performance and results. It’s hard to charge full-steam ahead when you’re always looking sideways.

 

When leaders are willing to expose the secrets they keep – even if only to themselves, and work through them – they can positively and exponentially transform their business success. Often times, leaders say they pay a high price to chart a new course. The price leaders pay is a direct reflection of the secrets they keep.

 

AmyK Hutchens is the Founder of AmyK Inc., a firm specializing in leadership, innovation and sales Think Tanks. Recently awarded International Speaker of the Year by Vistage UK (World’s leading CEO membership organization), and the author of the Amazon bestseller, The Secrets Leaders Keep, AmyK is a catalyst for igniting brilliance in leaders. More than 40,000 executives in over nine countries have benefited from her keen insight and intuitive understanding of the issues leaders face. Learn even more at www.amyk.com. Follow AmyK on Twitter at @AmyKInc.

 

How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism

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When Robin Chase co-founded Zipcar, she not only started a business but established the foundation for one of the most important economic and social ideas of our time: the collaborative economy. With this important book, she broadens our thinking about the ways in which the economy is being transformed and shows how the Peers Inc model is changing the very nature of capitalism.

In Peers Inc, Robin Chase brings her provocative insights to show how focusing on excess capacity transforms the economics of what’s possible and delivers abundance to all; how the new collaboration between the Inc and the Peers enables companies to grow more quickly, learn faster and deliver smarter products and services; how the Peers Inc model can help legacy companies overcome their shortening life cycle by inviting innovation and evolution; and more.

In this Soundview summary, you will learn:

  • The potential of “the three miracles”: excess capacity, platforms and peers.
  • The process of building a Peers Inc organization.
  • How legacy organizations can respond to the new Peers Inc economy.
  • Potential roles of government and financing in the Peers Inc model.

Check out the full summary in your online library.


Not a Soundview Executive Book Summaries subscriber?
Click here to purchase this summary or sign up for a subscription!

 

Leadership: A Trend that Nevers Grows Old

From time to time, I like to set aside a blog to look at trends in the world of business books, just to see on what topics authors are focusing their time and research. It’s a great way to measure the hot button issues.

Although there are many topics I could focus on, today I want to return to that old standard – Leadership. This subject has risen above the status of a trend, to become a recurring theme necessary for executives to master.

Although what is said about leadership in these books may include some recurring lessons we’ve seen over the past decades, authors are also intertwining these common-sense lessons with a new twist, with perspectives that are being gained as the world continues to change. Leadership is affected by technology, culture, greater diversity, changing perspectives about how companies related to the outside world, and much more.

Here are a few recent and upcoming leadership books that epitomize how our view of leadership is evolving in a changing world.

4D Leadership by Alan Watkins – Watkins introduces a 4th dimension to leadership – the vertical dimension. Vertical development focuses on being able to think more complexly, systemically, and strategically, whereas horizontal development consists of learning new skills and knowledge.

The Heart Led Leader by Tommy Spaulding – Authentic leaders, Spaulding says, live and lead from the heart.  The values and principles that guide our lives and shape our ability to lead others is far more important than our title, or our ability to crunch numbers, or the impressive degrees we display on our walls.

Lead More, Control Less by Marvin Weisbord & Sandra Janoff – Lead More, Control Less describes eight essential skills for establishing a culture of autonomy and self-leadership. Using examples and case studies, Weisbord and Janoff describe how leaders can share responsibility, defuse group conflicts, show everyone the big picture, and more. With this approach, leaders truly gain more control by giving it up.

Unconventional Leadership by Nancy Schlichting – Unconventional Leadership is a style of leadership based on confronting reality and leading headlong through adversity. In this inspiring story, Nancy Schlichting, the CEO of Henry Ford Health System, reveals her unique strategies that drive success: maintaining a focus on people, creating a culture of innovation and reinvention, and embracing diversity as a key strategy for growth.

These are just four of the many leadership titles coming out in the last quarter of 2015, but they should give you a taste of the ongoing challenges to our view of leadership in this changing world.

A Power Tool for Creative Thinking

thefourlensesofinnovationEver wonder where big, breakthrough ideas come from? How do innovators manage to spot the opportunities for industry revolution that everyone else seems to miss? Contrary to popular belief, innovation is not some mystical art that’s forbidden to mere mortals. The Four Lenses of Innovation thoroughly debunks this pervasive myth by delivering what we’ve long been hoping for: the news that innovation is systematic, it’s methodical and we can all achieve it.

By asking how the world’s top innovators came up with their game-changing ideas, best-selling author Rowan Gibson identifies four key business perspectives that will enable you to discover groundbreaking opportunities for innovation and growth: Challenging Orthodoxies, Harnessing Trends, Leveraging Resources and Understanding Needs.

Other books promise the keys to innovation — this one delivers them. With thought-provoking examples and features like the Eight-Step Model for Building a Breakthrough, The Four Lenses of Innovation will teach you how to reverse-engineer creative genius and make radical business innovation an everyday reality inside your organization.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:

• How innovators from the Renaissance through the present have used the Four Lenses of Innovation.

• Why patterns are fundamental to innovation.

• The skills required for seeing the future in the present.

• The difference between insights and ideas.

• To apply the Four Lenses systematically to your organization.

Not a Soundview Executive Book Summaries subscriber? Then click on the title to purchase and download it right now to begin learning these critical business skills.

 

 

November Best Business Books

Our November issue of Soundview Executive Book Summaries includes summaries of three great titles. These three books provide guidelines to help you improve yourself and your company across the areas of innovation, design thinking and informal teams.

thefourlensesofinnovation

The Four Lenses of Innovation

A Power Tool for Creative Thinking

by Rowan Gibson

Rowan Gibson presents an innovation methodology for systematically stretching your thinking, discovering inspiring new insights and producing a portfolio of high-quality ideas and radically new growth opportunities. You will learn how to reverse-engineer creative genius and make radical business innovation an everyday reality using four key business perspectives.
theachievementhabit

The Achievement Habit

Stop Wishing, Start Doing and Take Command of Your Life

by Bernard Roth

Bernie Roth, co-founder of the Stanford d.school, offers a guide for harnessing the power of design thinking to help meet life’s challenges and fulfill goals. Behaviors and relationships can be transformed as you become more effective at solving problems, more focused on things that matter, and more satisfied with life. Achievement is like a muscle; learn how to flex it.

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Team Genius

The New Science of High-Performing Organizations

by Michael Malone & Rich Karlgaard

Rich Karlgaard and Michael S. Malone focus on the critical role of Informal teams within the core of successful companies. Combining best practices and the latest in scientific research, the authors show how to build the dynamic, robust and great teams leaders need in order to compete in today’s world.

If you’re a Soundview subscriber, check out your new titles in your online library today. And if not, click on a title to purchase it; or perhaps now is the time to Subscribe and get these great titles and much more to strengthen your business skills.

How Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained and Elegant Methods Ignite Innovation

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Why do some projects deliver under budget and ahead of schedule, while others cost more and take longer than expected? More important, which products work better: the quick and thrifty or the slow and expensive?

In a story-filled blend of quirky pop culture and practical engineering insight, Dan Ward’s F.I.R.E. answers those questions and more. Ward’s extensive research and firsthand experience show how the world’s top technologists consistently deliver best-in-class results on shoestring budgets and cannonball schedules, and using skeleton crews.

But this is not just a book about how to win. With unflinching candor, Ward shows how the FIRE method, even when followed wisely and well, can result in a flop. Taking a deep look at several negative outcomes, he shows how to make failures optimal rather than epic.

F.I.R.E. provides strategic concepts for leaders, decision-making principles for managers and practical tools for people working on anything from spacecraft and fighter jets to websites and children’s toys. Technology professionals and curious amateurs alike will come away with a deeper understanding of effective product design.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:

• Build strategies for speed.

• Streamline your designs.

• Design your products and processes with less cost.

• Unleash the power of small teams and short meetings.

Not a Soundview Executive Book Summaries subscriber? Then click on the title to purchase and download it right now to begin learning these critical business skills.

 

The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design

WHEN BUYERS & SELLERS CHOOSE EACH OTHER

A patient with kidney disease goes to his doctor with good news: He found a donor who would be willing to give up one of her kidneys. A series of tests, however, shows that the donor-recipient match is incompatible. This scenario occurred at Rhode Island hospital with two pairs of donors and recipients. Then the Rhode Island surgeons realized that the donor of one pair was compatible with the recipient of the other pair, and vice-versa. With the permission of both donors and both patients, the surgeons did a kidney “exchange.”

Those operations planted the seed of what would become the New England Program for Kidney Exchange (NEPKE), a “matching market” for kidneys based on algorithms developed by Nobel Prize-winning economist Alvin E. Roth. (As opposed to commodity markets, matching markets allow buyers and/or sellers a choice in what they buy or whom they sell to.)

In his new book, Who Gets What — and Why, an engaging exploration of the different types and different roles of matching markets that underpin how our world operates, Roth devotes a full chapter to the creation and expansion of NEPKE — a market that does not involve money since the sale of kidneys is illegal and has been expanding thanks to the continued evolution of its rules.

Rules Are Necessary for Markets

Rules are at the heart of market design, the discipline for which Roth is perhaps the world’s most pre-eminent expert. Politicians talk of free markets as if no rules are necessary, as if self-interest and self-control will ensure the efficiency of markets. But as Roth shows through his many examples, rules are necessary because markets only work under the right conditions. For example, markets need to be thick — there must be a sufficient number of buyers and sellers all active at the same time for the market to work. The kidney exchange works because a sufficiently large database of donors and patients was created.

At the same time, markets cannot be too congested. Buyers need to be able to find what they want in the market in a timely manner. Travelers using Airbnb, which created a market of rooms in personal homes acting as hotel rooms, were hampered by the response time from hosts using personal computers. Smartphones (hosts no longer had to wait to check their computers at home at night) relieved the congestion. Markets also need to be safe: Both buyers and sellers must be assured that they will not be cheated. One of the challenges of Uber was convincing travelers that the car would show up and convincing Uber drivers that passengers would wait. Markets that are not thick, uncongested or safe will unravel and no longer fulfill their functions.

In Who Gets What — and Why, Roth’s clear jargon-free writing helps readers navigate the nuances and implications of market design. Roth’s wit and the variety of case studies he describes in detail also help. For example, Roth describes how the market for gastroenterology fellowships (the educational step after internal-medicine residency) “unraveled.” The section is titled, “Finding the Guts to Wait.”

Packed with fascinating stories, from the history behind the nickname Oklahoma Sooners to the role that repugnance plays in market design, Who Gets What –– and Why is at once supremely insightful and entertaining — a rare combination for an economics text.

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Delivering the Unexpected

Today’s blog is from Dustin Klein and Howard Brodsky, authors of the just released book The Unexpected.

Innovation is a word that is tossed around a bit too often today, but when it’s used correctly – and applied effectively – there’s no denying its impact.

So what constitutes innovation?

It can be breakthrough technology. But it can also be a business style or approach, a corporate culture, or a new process. In essence, it is asking “what if?” and then testing the answer.

One way to ply innovation is an approach to how you can service your customers, your vendors and your employees. It doesn’t require dismantling your operations, your workflow, your current processes or procedures, or even your existing products or services. But it does require you to think differently about every interaction you have both internally and externally.

The concept is called The Unexpected. And while that may sound a bit ominous, it isn’t.

Rather, The Unexpected is based on the idea that consumers have resigned themselves to accepting subpar service in order to get the lowest possible price.

And unfortunately, because of the commoditization of many products and services, many business organizations have found themselves in a similar situation as they try to compete on lowest price. Sadly, they’re finding there isn’t much lower they can go and still be profitable.

As a result, you hear a lot of companies say “We compete on service.” But what does that really mean?

More important, when you start to hear everybody say that, it devalues exactly what that “service” is. And when you devalue something, you lose the competitive advantage it once carried.

Moving forward, delivering what might be considered “world-class” customer service – going above and beyond, delivering “plus-one”, and ensuring your customers can depend on you – may soon become your ante at the great poker table of business. And many of those who fail to deliver a minimum service level that is at least above average, will wither away.

So how does innovation play into this equation?

Simple. By innovating your business approach internally and externally, by training your team to be “eyes up” and to identify opportunities to do something different, you can effectively separate yourself from the pack and create a competitive advantage that is hard to overcome.

Here’s what has been uncovered:

First, people want something that is Memorable, which is the first element of The Unexpected. That means something that causes you to walk away and say, “Wow – I can’t believe what just happened to me.”

Here is a very simplistic example:  Let’s say you frequented the same restaurant every Friday night with your spouse or significant other. You always ordered two glasses of red wine with your meals. What if one Friday night the owner sent out two glasses of a new red wine he or she stocked BEFORE you ordered. And what if the waiter told you that the owner thought you might enjoy this new wine and simply wanted your feedback on its quality and taste. It was on the house and a thank you for being such a loyal customer.

You’d find that an Unexpected surprise.

Not only that, but neuroscience tells us that an experience such as this releases dopamine from the brain stem and results in an elevation of your positive mood – creating happiness and joy. It etches a little reminder into your brain that says, This Happened, and creates a memory – the What.

But The Unexpected is more than this. You must also make that Memorable experience Distinguishable, which is the second key element. The Memory must create a Where – it must distinguish your brand from other brands. In this case, the restaurant.

And then, it must also be something that people want to tell others about, thus becoming Viral, the third key element of The Unexpected.

Finally, if you accomplish those three things – Make it Memorable, Distinguishable and Viral – it will result in the fourth key element of The Unexpected:  Profitable.

You will either be able to go deeper and wider with your key client base and increase your profitability – for example, by telling others about how you received the free wine you might cause a friend to say, “Wow – we go there every Saturday and order dessert. I wonder if they might do the same thing for us when they create new signature desserts.” Or, you might be able to create more Profitability as Starbucks and The Ritz-Carlton do – by commanding a premium price for your products and services because you are never quite sure what Unexpected experience either organization will deliver.

Incorporating The Unexpected into your day-to-day operations is actually quite simple….but that is a lesson for another day.

To hear more about how to deliver the Unexpected to your customers, join Brodsky and Klein at our Soundview Live webinar: Breakthrough Strategies to Earn Loyal Customers for Life.

Our Recent Choices for Best Business Books of 2015

This month our summaries are all about speed. Persuasion Equation talks about ways to speed up the negotiation process, The Attacker’s Advantage explores ways to detect market changes in advance in order to move more quickly to take advantage, and our bonus summary F.I.R.E. presents ways to accelerate innovation.

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Persuasion Equation

The Subtle Science of Getting Your Way

by Mark Rodgers

This insightful guide by Mark Rodgers reveals what drives decisions and introduces the persuasion equation –– a powerful combination of factors proven to speed agreement. Learn how to set your persuasion priorities and perfect the five-step persuasion process in order to gain buy-in from those around you.

attackersadvantage

The Attacker’s Advantage

Turning Uncertainty into Breakthrough Opportunities

by Ram Charan

Ram Charan provides proven tools to help leaders embrace uncertainty and develop the skills to be better prepared to lead. The attacker’s advantage is the perceptual acuity to detect ahead of others forces that could radically reshape a market space so you can position your business to make the next move first.

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F.I.R.E.

How Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained and Elegant Methods Ignite Innovation

by Dan Ward

Dan Ward introduces the FIRE method in which strategies are built for speed and designs are streamlined, all at less cost. You’ll learn that the project leaders who embrace speed, thrift, simplicity and restraint tend to deliver affordable equipment that is available when it’s needed and effective when it’s used.

If you’re a Soundview subscriber, check out your new titles in your online library today. And if not, click on a title to purchase it; or perhaps now is the time to Subscribe and get these great titles and much more to strengthen your leader skills.

The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends

THE NEED FOR ‘INTUITION RESETS’

Once upon a time, a company such as Toyota used to have strict retirement requirements tied to age. Employees knew that once they reached the cut-off age, they would be asked to retire. No exceptions.

The situation is a little more fluid today. Toyota has a “reemployment” program for retiring workers. As they leave their current positions, retiring employees have the opportunity to apply for other positions at Toyota or its affiliates. The reason for Toyota’s efforts is their desire to keep the experience and knowledge of older employees in the company. “Employers have long focused on youth,” explain McKinsey Global Institute directors Richard Dobbs, James Manyika and Jonathan Woetzel, the authors of a new book, No Ordinary Disruption. “But in a graying world, employers have to reset their intuition. Rather than seeing older employees as legacy costs, they must view them as assets and resources.”

The Four Disruptive Forces

A graying world is just one of four disruptive forces that the authors believe will dramatically alter the landscape of the world more than any previous disruption in history. The other three forces are:

  • The shifting locus to emerging markets and specifically the cities within those markets. Half of the global GDP between 2010 and 2025 will come from 440 cities in emerging markets. Some of them will be well known, such as Shanghai, but most will be small- and medium-sized cities most have never heard of.
  • The acceleration of the scope, scale and economic impact of technology. It’s hard to believe that technology could accelerate even more than what we’ve seen in the past 25 years (a paltry 3 percent of people in the world had a mobile phone 20 years ago). However, companies such as Alibaba and Uber show how quickly technology can redefine industries.
  • The global interconnectivity through movements (or “flows”) of capital, people and information. The original lines of connectivity between Europe and America have evolved into a “complex, intricate, sprawling web,” the authors write.

These four global forces are breaking all the trends, according to the authors. As a result, people and companies are going to need what they call “intuition resets.” The old assumptions, habits and priorities have to be replaced with new ones. Thus, Toyota starts a reemployment initiative for older workers, as described above.

Companies are discovering the power and reach of the exploding technology to “create difficult-to-replicate capabilities,” the authors write. One example is Medtronic’s remote heart monitoring network connecting implanted heart monitoring devices to physicians at remote locations.

Given the shift to cities, companies that used to avoid the costs of downtowns are now recognizing that locating in urban areas is vital to attract the best and the brightest. The success of Uber, Zipcar and Lyft reveal the potential for companies that focus on urban consumers. Finally, in a super-interconnected world, establishing a presence in a major hub, depending on industry and domain, is key.

This is just a tiny sample of the intuition resets that the authors offer in a book that is as sprawling, complex and fascinating as the world it describes.