How Adaptable are YOU?

Today’s guest blogger is Tony Alessandra, CEO of Assessments24x7, a company that equips coaches, trainers and consultants with dozens of assessments (DISC, Motivators, HVP, etc.) from one, easy-to-use online account.

What IS Adaptability?

The concept of adaptability, as developed by Dr. Michael O’Connor, co-author of The Platinum Rule®, is a two-part process.  It combines flexibility with versatility.

  • Flexibility is your willingness to adapt. It is your attitude.
  • Versatility is your ability to adapt. It is your aptitude.

The first half of the high adaptability formula – Flexibility.

Confidence + Tolerance + Empathy + Positiveness + Respect for others = FLEXIBILITY.

  • Confidence – you believe in yourself, you trust your own judgment and resourcefulness.
  • Tolerance – you are open to accepting opinions and practices that are different from your own.
  • Empathy – a deep understanding of another’s situation.
  • Positiveness – a positive attitude leads to positive events in your life.
  • Respect for others – the sincere desire to understand and consider other people’s choices, commitments and needs in relation to your own.

BEWARE!  These are traits that undermine your ability to successful adapt:

  • Rigidity -“It’s my way or the highway”
  • Competition with others – “I’m smarter, prettier, etc., thank you”
  • Discontent – “No, I don’t like it this way.  Why can’t we…”
  • Unapproachable – “Don’t bother me unless it’s worth my time and you agree with me”
  • Difficulty with Ambiguity – “Let’s nail this down right now”

The second half of the high adaptability formula – Versatility.

Resilience + Vision + Attentiveness + Competence + Self-correction = VERSITILITY.

  • Resilience – knowing how to overcome setbacks, barriers and limited resources.  If you keep on going until you succeed, that is resilience.
  • Vision – having the power to imagine, be creative, and suggest alternatives.
  • Attentiveness – knowing when to act and when not to act. It means paying attention to more than your own needs.
  • Competence – begins with expertise. In addition, it also involves a problem-solving ability that goes beyond your specialty. It means having a can-do attitude and following through on it.
  • Self-correction – once you initiate a project, you ask for feedback and place a high priority on problem solving, not on being right. It is being able to say, “I think this approach isn’t working.  I’d better try something different.”

BEWARE!  There are traits that undermine your ability to successful adapt:

  • Subjectiveness – “This is the way it looks to ME”
  • Bluntness – “That’s a stupid idea!”
  • Resistance – “This is the way we’ve always done it”
  • Single-mindedness – “It’s my goal and nothing else matters”
  • Unreasonable Risk-taking – “I’m going to jump, won’t you come with me?”

Adaptable people meet other peoples’ needs and their own. They know how to negotiate relationships in a way that allows everyone to win.  With adaptability, you are practicing what I call The Platinum Rule® – treating other people the way they want and need to be treated.

To hear more from Tony Alessandra, join him for our Soundview Live webinar on August 27th: Turning Every Business Encounter into a Mutual Win.

What Could You Learn From Our Latest Summaries?

Our September summaries are all about what is best for employees. Whether it’s corporate education, empowering employees through lean practices, or developing employee character, this set of summaries offers a wealth of information to strengthen your company.

 

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Learning to Succeed

Rethinking Corporate Education in a World of Unrelenting Change

by Jason Wingard
Corporate learning expert Jason Wingard proposes that to keep ahead of the competition, organizations should shift to embracing learning across the ranks and become dynamic learning organizations. With a dedication to learning initiatives, a company will be better equipped to make the decisions that will ensure its future.
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The Lean CEO

Leading the Way to World-Class Excellence

by Jacob Stoller
Many companies and CEOs are finding that to do more with less, that they can find solutions in Lean management techniques to deliver sustainable financial results, empower and motivate employees, break down internal silos and build solid partnerships with customers and suppliers. Journalist and facilitator Jacob Stoller explains the methodology by including in-depth interviews with CEOs who have established Lean as a corporate-wide management system.
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The Good Ones

Ten Crucial Qualities of High-Character Employees

by Bruce Weinstein
Ethics expert Bruce Weinstein presents 10 crucial qualities associated with high-character employees that can enhance employee satisfaction, client relationships and the bottom line. Character refers to the most important qualities that define a person’s identity and it is revealed not by words but by actions. The qualities are honesty, accountability, care, courage, fairness, gratitude, humility, loyalty, patience and presence.

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.

50 Ways to Enhance your Presence and Impact at Work

Our guest blogger today is Simon Tyler, author of The Impact Code.

Much has been written about leadership and impact. Corporate impact, specifically, is a term which seems to have a lot of style, but often very little substance. You are advised to change your appearance, use the right body language and so on.

But here’s the crux: without wisdom, without purpose and authentic intention, irrespective of dramatic style upgrades, your impact is rendered impotent and empty. True leaders and innovators – Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther-King, Winston Churchill, Steve Jobs – are considered ‘great’ due to their passion, and their belief in their purpose. People wanted to follow them and their ideas.

Without a sense of what motivates and inspires you, a new suit or different haircut will do little to improve your leadership potential. The Impact Code challenges you from the outset to examine your purpose as the first step towards creating a powerful positive impact on the world and those around you.

How often have you asked yourself:

“What am I passionate about?”

“What do I stand for?”

“What would I like people to say about me, and what I have done?”

… and actually written down your immediate responses?

Your current leadership impact is revealed in the answers to these core questions. It tells a story to those around you, making a statement about who you are and how you go about your journey. It’s about how you create lasting and meaningful impact.

In my role as coach and mentor, I observe senior managers and directors, every one of them leaders, in that they have willing followers, but only a few demonstrating executive presence.

I have identified five interlinked channels for executive presence. The consistency with which it is delivered, makes the impact more potent.

In The Impact Code I refer to these as The Five Aspects of Leadership Impact, and I will discuss them at the Soundview Live webinar on August 20th.

  1. Visual impact
  2. Presence
  3. Connection
  4. Verbal impact
  5. Your leadership footprint

In practice, all five aspects are in play much of the time. Becoming mindful of how you use the aspects of impact prepares you to enhance both the strength and consistency of your message.

During the webinar I will discuss a leader’s impact journey. Powerful, authentic leadership can be identified by four escalating outcomes:

Attraction – People are attracted to you and to your ideas. They may, or may not, be able to explain why, but they gravitate towards you in a room and are eager to hear what you have to say.

Appetite – Your connection with individuals amplifies their initial attraction; they are now actively aware of their interest in your ideas, your team, your company, and they want more.

Advocacy – People are deeply and passionately aware of your ideas and motivated to advocate them to others – they support your cause verbally, they discuss it with peers, creating a buzz around you and your vision.

Action – Your passion and leadership create a palpable and obvious response in others. They take new, inspired action, and do something directly as a result of their involvement with you. You create change through the actions of others. Your impact is spreading more widely and is not restricted to the people you meet in person.

During the webinar I will help you notice positive and impactful perceptions of yourself and your work, not only in a business setting, but in other areas of life too. Heightening your self-awareness, becoming more deliberate, will enhance your impact and accelerate the pace of the change and also bring many of the material, emotional and spiritual rewards you seek.

Join us on August 20th for our webinar with Simon Tyler: 50 Ways to Enhance Your Presence and Impact at Work.

A Big BUT

By Daniel F. Prosser, Author, ‘Thirteeners – Why Only 13% Of Companies Successfully Execute Their Strategy And How Yours Can Be One Of Them’

There are two kinds of strategic planners I’ve encountered in the world of business and both of them are ALWAYS right. Which one you are most like?

Our first strategic planner sits down with their team and goes through all the right motions, has a grand dream they think they are committed to accomplish. They might see a big possibility for their future, yet with an almost unconsciousness, immediately and automatically follow their idea with, “but…” As in, “This is a great idea, BUT I just don’t think we are capable of making that happen this year”. Or, “That would be nice, BUT….” The word may not actually be spoken – yet often it is. Regardless, this is the word that runs the show; limits the possible future. And, what’s even more interesting is that everyone who thinks this way makes themselves absolutely correct in their statement.

The second strategic planner follows the same process for strategic planning for the year and yet they do something completely different with their idealized future. They W.

Huh? What is W?  Look very closely. What you’re looking at is the international symbol for putting your butt on the line. That’s right – there are two different types of strategists (leaders actually) and the ones who have the best chance of fulfilling on their dreams and plans are the ones who give up the word ‘But’ and literally take the risk of putting their butt on the line for what they want, regardless of the risks.

More leaders silently succumb to their ‘but’ and avoiding having to actually put their W on the line.

Why would this be a problem? Well, the shocking news is that 87% of companies fail to execute their strategy each year and then wonder why. To be clear – this isn’t the only reason they fail. But, (there’s that word again) it’s a very serious problem because what happens next when leaders are being observed and followed –their thinking and their fear of risk, becomes embedded as a hidden practice that gets repeated within their organization.

Just the mere silent indication that there’s any sort of resistance to “what’s next” creates what I call a cultural meme – a meme is an unspoken idea, behavior, or practice that spreads from person to person within a culture. Memes carry invisible or hidden messages – conversations actually and that is what really runs your company. You’re not aware of them because they are in the background. Memes operate like a virus to undermine and sabotage your best intentions – the things you would most like to have happen in your life or your business. When you understand memes and specifically the memes that operate in your workplace you literally take your power back to be able to say how it’s going to be and then have it be that way.

To earn more, join Daniel Prosser at our Soundview Live webinar: Become One of the 13% That Successfully Execute Their Strategy on August 13th.

 

5 Steps to Transform Your Team’s Passion into Execution of Your Strategy

This blog was first published by Daniel Prosser on www.danprosser.com.

Every company leader wants to feel they’ve done everything possible to fulfill on their strategy every year. Leading studies show that while as many as 95% of companies have done the planning and created a cogent business plan or strategy, at least 87% of those companies won’t follow through and meet those goals this year, next year, or any year. And furthermore, it’s not the strategy that is usually at fault.

Keep this up every year and it won’t help that people, more likely your very best people, will ultimately begin leaving to find a better place to employ their talents. After all if you worked hard (and I think you are) to make a difference and it’s not working, what would you choose to do? It only makes sense.

You can do something about this in your company even if you don’t have all the right people on the bus just yet. Companies that have changed their thinking have put their companies on a course for actual 2 – 3X expansion of their current bottom-line performance. This is especially common among those companies known as ‘Best Places To Work’.

This is not fantasy thinking. Any company can do this. The difference between those companies who do it and those that don’t is those who do are willing to first uncover and confront what’s in the way, and then give up their current system of limited and limiting thinking. Gallup found that companies that do change their thinking see an average of 2.6 times more growth in earnings, 12% higher customer advocacy, 18% higher productivity, and 12% higher profitability. Every bit of those improvements wind up on the bottom line.

“Almost every significant breakthrough has been the result of a courageous break with traditional ways of thinking” – Stephen R. Covey

The companies who produce these kinds of results have first identified what is standing in the way of their forward progress and then – they shift their current thinking, they unhook their current model; they shift their current paradigms. They literally go to work to transform the way they are ‘being’ versus concentrating on what they are ‘doing’ as a company, by adopting a new system in which they’ve literally risked their present ways of thinking to build a more powerful and profitable future.

What exactly did they shift?

  1. An Awareness of the conversations and beliefs that undermine and sabotage future performance and a new Awareness of what is truly possible once that truth has been told.
  2. An enduring vision of the future that puts everyone on the exact same page; a future that empowers people, can’t be forgotten, and won’t disappear or go out of existence.
  3. A strategy that eliminates the need for survival tactics and empowers employees and other stakeholders to take responsibility for causing breakthrough results.
  4. A future-focused culture that gets the constraints left by past performance out of the way of having what you say you want and create the connections people need with each other and to the activities (roles/goals/responsibilities) that are consistent with the vision.
  5. An accountability system that gives people back their power to produce ‘real measurable results’ using a new structure to support what the organization is committed to.

The challenge in shifting to a future based company is to maintain accelerated forward progress. To do this the leadership have to give something up. They need to give up being right and believing they have all the answers.

Once they set their egos aside and are promoting a more relational culture, they can then stop managing people and start managing the promises people make as they establish effective accountability and become more effective at managing promises that close the gaps between what is possible and current performance.

To learn more about the conversations that can move a company into the top 13%, register for our Soundview Live webinar with Daniel Prosser: Become One of the 13% That Successfully Execute Their Strategy.

Creating Urgency and Growth in a Nanosecond Culture

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Best-selling author Jason Jennings knows that speed is the ultimate competitive advantage. But in 2015, companies of all sizes still struggle to adapt quickly. They know it’s crucial to their future but need help to get everyone implementing speed and urgency at all levels.

Jennings and his researchers have spent years up close and personal with thousands of organizations around the world — figuring out what makes them successful in both the short and long term. The High-Speed Company reveals the unique practices of businesses that have proven records of urgency and growth. The key distinction is that they’ve created extraordinary cultures with a strong purpose, more trust and relentless follow-through. These companies burn less energy, beat the competition and have a lot of fun along the way.

Jennings shows how you can implement the same strategies that have made companies such as CoBank, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Grainger, Henry Schein, Google, and Johnson & Johnson great, including encouraging employees to make the right moves without hesitation, doing more to constantly innovate and bring in new customers, and being transparent about management decisions.

Breathe easier. Handle any hurdle. Get things done faster. That’s the way of the high-speed company. Jennings shows you how to build and sustain your own.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:

• The key traits of high-speed companies –– and why they outperform.

• How purpose drives high-speed companies.

• How to address the “immutable law of suckage.”

• Why high-speed companies are defined by stewardship.

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.

 

4 Tips for Becoming a Whole-Brained Leader

Ann Herrmann-Nehdi is CEO of Herrmann International and co-author of The Whole Brain® Business Book, Second Edition (McGraw-Hill).

What’s the most effective leadership style?

OK, it’s a trick question.

There is no “one size fits all” style. Leadership is personal; it’s individual. The best leaders aren’t trying to be someone they’re not or to force-fit themselves into a prescribed mold. They understand their own style—who they are—and they’ve learned how to leverage it.

But regardless of personal leadership styles, our research has shown that there are some commonalities among the most effective leaders. Especially in a business world that’s as complex and fluid as today’s, we’ve found that being a successful leader requires Whole Brain® Thinking.

This means understanding how you prefer to think as well as what your mental “blind spots” are. It’s also about having the agility to stretch outside your thinking comfort zones when the situation requires it.

The great thing about the brain is that you have access to all of it. So while I may prefer conceptual thinking over structured approaches, that doesn’t mean I can’t focus in on detailed action items. It does, however, take conscious awareness, motivation, and effort. And most of the time, we’re pretty unconscious about our thinking.

To get more conscious about thinking so you can become a more effective leader, start with these quick tips:

  1. Understand all the brainpower that’s available. Being whole-brained isn’t just about your own thinking; it’s also about recognizing who can supplement your strengths when the situation requires it (and then listening to them!). Know the people around you, and bring in the complementary thinking you need to see all contingencies and aspects of an issue.
  2. Make thinking a priority. Our culture is focused on “do, do, do,” to the point where thinking is often viewed as a luxury. But it’s your job to think, and you can’t run on autopilot when the landscape is constantly changing. Own, schedule, and protect your thinking time, as well as the thinking time for those you lead.
  3. Play to people’s strengths. When employees are disengaged and burned out because their jobs don’t match their thinking preferences, it can cost the company millions. Tools like the HBDI® Assessment can be used to understand not only the person’s preferences, but also the mental requirements of a particular job. This is valuable information for talent alignment and coaching/performance support discussions.
  4. Escape your thinking confines. It’s easy to get contaminated by your industry or organizational mindset. To be more strategic and innovative, you have to make a point to regularly escape this narrow view. Read about industries that have nothing to do with yours, attend different conferences, network widely. If you don’t look outside, you risk getting caught off-guard.

You can hire experts in finance and lean and technology. What you can’t hire is your own ability to think critically, creatively, and strategically, to think visually, intuitively, and globally—to be able to project your leadership out into the future. Get conscious about your thinking by exercising Whole Brain® leadership daily.

Learn more about Whole Brain Thinking at our upcoming webinar with Ann Herrmann-Nehdi: Unlock the Power of Whole Brain Thinking.

A New Way of Thinking

So often, we are limited by our own perspective, our own way of looking at business and life. It is no small challenge to break out of this narrow mindset in order to gain the perspective of our colleagues, employees and customers – but it can mean the difference between success and failure.

We have invited two authors to join us next week to help us break through the limitations of our thinking. On August 4th Ann Herrmann-Nehdi will introduce the concept of whole-brain thinking, and then on August 6th Bernard Mayer will provide a new perspective on conflict resolution.

Unlock the Power of Whole Brain Thinking – Ann Herrmann-Nehdi

Filled with real-world examples and essential charts, exercises, action steps, and strategies, this Soundview Live webinar shows you how to rethink your business, prepare for the future, realign your goals, and reinvigorate your team — by putting your whole brain to work.

Taking Conflict to a More Productive Place – Bernard Mayer

In this Soundview Live webinar Bernard Mayer outlines seven major dilemmas that conflict practitioners face every day. Participants will find expert guidance toward getting to the heart of the conflict and will be challenged to adopt a new way to think about the choices disputants face.  They will also be offered practical tools and techniques for more successful intervention. Using stories, experiences, and reflective exercises to bring these concepts to life, Mayer provides actionable advice for overcoming roadblocks to effective conflict work.

As always, these webinar are free for subscribers. And if you’re not yet a subscriber, you can Subscribe to our Online Edition for what it would cost for just these two events, and receive our summaries and a year of weekly webinars.

The New One Minute Manager

BEST-SELLER DEFIES ITS AGE

Thirty-five years after the publication of the original book, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson have published an updated edition of their phenomenal bestseller, The One Minute Manager. Much has changed in the past three-and-a-half decades, notably the near-unanimous agreement that top-down command-and-control management is counterproductive and that work is no longer just a paycheck for employees but must, instead, be a source of fulfillment and purpose. Yet, despite the overstated promise of a “new” third secret, readers will finish this updated edition, called The New One Minute Manager, with a renewed appreciation of the foresight and modernity of the original book. For despite radical changes of attitudes and priorities in the workplace, the core ideas of The One Minute Manager still hold true.

As in the original edition, the new edition tells the story of a young man who seeks out a great manager of whom he has heard. This great manager introduces him to his core managing philosophy that “people who feel good about themselves produce good results.”

The young man then goes on to talk with three lower-level managers on the great manager’s team who explain the three secrets of one-minute management. The first manager describes the first secret, which is the setting of one-minute goals — three to five succinctly formulated goals (readable in one minute) tied to the key areas of responsibility. The second manager describes one-minute praises, the second secret of one-minute management. The concept of one-minute praises is encapsulated in the highlighted phrase, unchanged from the first edition, “Help people reach their full potential. Catch them doing something right.” One-minute praises must be immediate and specific, followed by an encouragement to do more of the same.

The new edition diverges slightly from the original edition with the third secret of one-minute management. In the original edition, the third secret was a one-minute reprimand. The manager would tell employees who made a mistake exactly what mistake they made and how disappointed he was with them for making the mistake. At the same time, the one-minute manager would explain that he had a problem with the specific mistake, not with them, and that he still valued them.

In the new edition, the one-minute reprimand has become the one-minute redirect. The third secret still concerns responding to a mistake and follows a similar path: The manager confirms with the employee the facts of the mistake, expresses how he or she feels about the mistake and then pauses to give time for the employee to think about the mistake. In the original edition, the purpose of the pause was to create “a few seconds of uncomfortable silence to let them feel how you feel.” In the new edition, the pause’s purpose is “to allow people time to feel concerned about what they’ve done.” Both the reprimand and redirect end with the same expression of concern about the specific mistake and not the person, and the manager reaffirming his or her trust in that person.

The true value in this new edition is found in the stylistic changes that help the book shake its age. The characters are no longer Mr. Trenell and Ms. Brown, but Paul and Teresa. The secretary, Ms. Metcalfe is now the assistant Courtney, and she does not bring in a list of names to her boss at his intercom’d request; he prints out the list himself from his computer.

While these changes may seem cosmetic, they are important in conveying the relevance of Blanchard’s and Johnson’s classic propositions to today’s workplace. For example, the one-minute manager’s aggressiveness toward the visitor in the original would be shocking today; the new one-minute manager is firm but not impolite. In the original conversation, the one-minute manager tells the visitor, “You have asked me not once but twice to make a simple decision for you. Frankly, young man, I find that annoying. Do not ask me to repeat myself. Either pick a name and get started, or take your search for effective management elsewhere.” This entire quote is deleted from the conversation in the new edition, and for good reason.

The original ideas in The One Minute Manager stand up to time, a tribute to their value. The New One Minute Manager offers these ideas without the distraction of dated terms and social conventions, thus ensuring that they will resonate with a new generation of fans.

More of the Best Business Books of 2015

Leading a business is difficult. We’re in an era when technological breakthroughs are changing whole markets overnight, and where the expectations of employees are much different than in past decades.

Our summaries for this month speak to the challenges of leading in this ever-changing environment.

thehighspeedcompany

The High-Speed Company

Creating Urgency and Growth in a Nanosecond Culture

by Jason Jennings & Laurence Haughton

Jason Jennings shares strategies and practices demonstrated by businesses with proven records of creating cultures with strong purpose, trust and follow-through. Jennings details the key traits of these high-speed companies and how they outperform others, ultimately showing how to build and sustain one of your own.

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Make It Matter

How Managers Can Motivate by Creating Meaning

by Scott Mautz

Scott Mautz reveals that fostering meaning at work by giving workers a greater sense of significance is the key to motivation and engagement. By making work matter, people become more committed to their jobs, which positively influences productivity, products and personal satisfaction. Mautz offers tools and plans to create meaning in and at work.

thehardthing

The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

by Ben Horowitz

Ben Horowitz tells it straight as he shares insights gained from developing, managing, selling, buying investing in and supervising technology companies. He offers techniques for navigating the struggle of being a leader and explains why you should take care of the people, the products and the profits, in that order.

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.