Research Pays Off

A few weeks ago I was speaking in Omaha, Nebraska for Centris Federal Credit Union. When I got to my hotel room there was a gift basket waiting for me from the team at Centris. It was a very nice gesture but the reason I am writing about it was because they took an extra step that most people don’t take. They had done their research and the gift basket was full of things that I personally like. (Personal note: Dr. Pepper and Licorice are the keys to my heart) I was reminded of how much a little research pays off. Before you meet with a potential client, team member or partner – take a few minutes to research what they like, dislike, etc… It will give you insights into that person, allow you to personalize your approach and customize the conversation. I recently had a meeting with a potential
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People Support What They Help Create

One of the key lessons I teach leaders is that – People Support What They Help Create. Our world has changed, and rapidly. Fifteen years ago, if you wanted your voice to be heard, you pretty much only believed it was heard if you held a position of leadership. Social media has changed all that and I don’t mean just because people have Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn where they can go and voice their opinion. It has changed the psyche of our world. It has caused everyone to feel like his or her voice should be heard. Regardless of where people are in your organization, they mentally believe that their voice and their opinion matters. As a result, our top-down directives don’t work the same way they used to. We can’t just throw things at people and expect them to jump on it, to run with it, and go for
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Confidence Will Change Your World

The word confidence means to go forward with faith. Self-confidence causes you to act. It is bold but not overbearing. It dispels doubt and fear. It is personal power. Ralph Ellison said, “Power doesn’t have to show off. Power is confident, self-assuring, self-starting and self-stopping, self-warming and self-justifying. When you have it, you know it.”  When you have confidence in yourself, you gain confidence in others. Great leaders have great confidence. It is attractive, focused and contagious. Many military leaders were known for their supreme confidence on the battlefield. One of those was Napoleon Bonaparte. The Duke of Wellington said,  “In my opinion Napoleon’s presence on the field of battle was the equivalent of 100,000 additional troops. His very name acquired a mythical power and his supreme confidence of himself was transferred as if by magic to those serving under his command.” No wonder so many people followed him! Confidence
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Litmus Test

Below are 12 questions you can ask yourself. They will help you to see whether your thinking is inward or outward, selfish or selfless. They are not designed to make you feel bad. Rather, they should help you stop and really analyze your thinking and your motives. Be honest with yourself. We can all improve our thinking. These questions will help you accurately assess where you are and in what areas you can improve.  In sales do you A) care more about the commission you make or B) more about the customer?  In leadership do you A) place blame or B) praise your people?  Do you A) feel threatened by the success of others or B) celebrate their triumphs?  In relationships do you A) try and change others or B) try to make yourself better?  In relationships do you A) want to win or B) do you want win-win?  When
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People Do Business With People They Know, Like, Trust and Value

There’s a fundamental rule of business that states: “People do business with people they know, like and trust.” We’ve all heard that, and even repeated it, but ultimately it is wrong. Ok, maybe wrong is not the right word. But the rule is incomplete. The truth is, people do business with people they know, like, trust and VALUE. Honesty and likeability are important, but if people don’t see you as valuable, they will never do business with you. If you don’t come across as professional, knowledgeable, and credible with the right skill set to get the job done, you will never be as influential and successful as you would like. So what do we do about it? How do we make ourselves more valuable? By constantly developing our knowledge, our skills and continually striving to get better. The fundamental rule of Business should read: “People do business with people they
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Three Questions To Ask Yourself For Maximum Performance

In a conversation on adding value, New York Times bestselling author Brendan Burchard proposed three questions we should ask ourselves. As you finish a project, contribute to the team or look for ways to add value as a partner leader, I want you to ask yourself these three questions on a regular basis. I put it on a sticky note as I was writing my book Partnership is the New Leadership because I want the content to add enormous value. Answering all three in the affirmative will accomplish that goal. Question 1. Is what I am creating/contributing distinct? Is your contribution different in a significant way? Is it adding value in a way that no one else has done? Does it stand out? Does it look and feel aesthetically unique? Is it something that will impress people because it is coming from an angle that others haven’t thought of? It’s
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Mentor Individually

I have realized that there are some key steps to empowering your people and building leaders not followers. Mentoring is one of the best ways to do so. A mentor is “an experienced and trusted adviser,” one who shows the way. It isn’t bragging or showing off. John Wooden said, “Mentoring isn’t about celebrating your own insight but about sharing wisdom. When you pass on the lessons of your life with someone else, it’s not you who are teaching – it’s your experience.” To mentor individually means to pay attention to each person’s interests, desires and capabilities, to recognize that everyone doesn’t fit the same mold, and wisdom is most effectively shared one-on-one. Mentoring is an investment in your people which requires time, energy and effort on the part of the leader. My friend Don Yaeger, who coauthored The Two Most Important Days of Your Life with me, used to
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7 Reasons Talented People Stay

Building a thriving business is more than having a great product or unique service. The great differentiator in today’s world is your people. So finding talented people is important but keeping talented people is crucial. Talented people will always have opportunities- so how do you get them to stay? Talented employees stay because they are: 1. Paid Well 2. Appreciated 3. Listened to 4. Promoted 5. Involved in decision making 6. Mentored 7. Challenged If you look at that list – the takeaway to me is that your leadership approach will ultimately determine whether your talented people stay or leave. Remember – Partnership is The New Leadership Save
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The Election Demonstrates Marketing Not Leadership

Over the last six months I have had numerous leaders ask me “If you believe partnership is the new leadership then how do you explain Trump’s leadership success?” I agree that Trump’s approach is not about partnership. He doesn’t focus on building relationships, investing in people or following nearly anything I teach to leaders in my books or speeches. The error is in the assumption that the election is a demonstration of leadership – it’s not. The Election demonstrates Marketing not Leadership. Love him or hate him – what Trump has been is a good marketer. So here is a quick three steps to marketing we can all learn from. He’s gained a lot of attention. That is the first thing you need to do to build a brand & stand out. The killer to a candidate or business for that matter is obscurity – remaining unknown. He’s differentiated himself
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You Can’t Elevate Yourself By Putting Others Down

  One of the biggest problems in our society today is a false belief that you elevate yourself by putting others down. You see this in politics. It is almost comical when you watch a political debate; when a candidate is asked a question, they typically respond by bashing their opponent and they never answer the question. But it goes beyond politics. In business, I hear people who bash their competitors and somehow believes that makes them look better and create loyalty. It actually does the opposite. One example in our culture is the portrayal of men. Watch any sitcom and they portray men as lazy, stupid and helpless. This is another example of a flawed approach that stemmed from feminism. Feminism is about elevating and empowering women and we don’t do that by bashing men. In all scenarios – remember – you can’t elevate yourself by putting others down.
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