Monday, 30 July 2012
Courage in Business
If you are in leadership for any extended amount of time a tough decision or conversation is coming.   Advising a vendor you are moving business,  demoting an employee who is struggling,  ethical breeches of conduct,  implementing strategy changes…. Any way you look at it, its tough.  

How do find your courage?   Courage is a word we don’t hear much of in business, but one that is highly needed and thought of. 

Courage by definition  is  the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.”   However, to have the courage of one’s conviction is to “act in accordance with one’s beliefs, especially in spite of criticism.”  (

Courage in business supports leaders to implement grace and empathy in times of change,  builds manager strength to encourage opportunity and vision,  and helps the front-line work force to see strength and confidence in action so they can ultimately be courageous themselves.

Posted on 07/30/2012 9:33 AM by Janet Rives
Thursday, 26 July 2012
Humble Leaders are Respected and Admired

No matter where you are in the business world, remember that you are not that big a deal – there is always someone ahead of you in your organization or in a competitor so don’t let your title, position and level of responsibility go to your head.  One of the biggest stumbling blocks for young executives is letting ego get in the way of good leadership.

When you get a big head people will slowly back away from you and many will be reluctant to tell you the truth.  Big egos send the message that you have all the answers and therefore “I’ll just tell the boss what he or she wants to hear.”  Now you are isolated and out of touch and may be plateaued or maybe even worse.

Stay humble – others will respect you and follow your leadership. One way to stay grounded is to spend lots of time in the core of the business asking questions and listening carefully.  And no matter how you feel when you get bad news your response should always be a simple “thank you.”  Don’t shoot the messenger or you will cease to hear the news you need to be a good leader. When you stay grounded you will stay plugged in which will help you to make the best leadership decisions.

Posted on 07/26/2012 9:35 AM by Joe Scarlett
Monday, 23 July 2012
The Joy Test

“Liking your chores is not a prerequisite of you doing them.”  Did you Mother ever tell you this?  Mine sure did, and I’m thankful for this work ethic given me young in life.  However at the moment I likely rolled my eyes and stomped off to do what was asked. 

Even today as professionals, we all want to find joy in our work and find it meaningful.  However,  in the most meaningful work there are elements of the unfulfilling and the unlikable we just have to do.    How do you handle those moments?  Do you meet the not-so-fun duties as part of the whole that you are grateful for – or grumble after.

If you are truly blessed to have a job that provides enrichment and joy in your life – I challenge you to have a gratitude check-up in the moments of the unlikeable and remember the whole.   If you have more moments of joy than the unlikeable make sure it is known.

Spread the JOY test.   Whenever a co-worker is grumbling about the unlikable, encourage gratitude for good work.   Whenever meetings turn into the mundane,  encourage innovative thinking. 

You might find your days filled with happier people … including yourself.

Posted on 07/23/2012 9:19 AM by Janet Rives
Tuesday, 17 July 2012
Set Clear Direction

The great leaders make a point of setting clear direction in as many ways and as frequently as possible.  There is no greater disappointment than working on a project only to find that unclear direction has led the project off track and now needs to back up and restart.  In virtually every case of this nature the problem rests with leadership communication.

The experts say that people retain about ten percent of what they hear a week later.  From this you could conclude that the important topics need to be communicated ten times if we expect everyone to have a clear understanding of the direction.  The more out of the norm, the more important the communication - so on new projects communication overkill is just the right ticket.

Include as many people as you can in the communications loop – the more people that hear the message the more likely the outcome will be on target.  And the more people in the loop the more likely disagreement will rise to the surface so issues can be resolved early in the process and the damage is minimal.

Over communicate the important stuff!

Posted on 07/17/2012 10:30 AM by Joe Scarlett
Monday, 9 July 2012
Change is on the way don't be left out

Our world is in a constant state of change driven to a large degree by technology. Don’t be left out – change is coming - like it or not, so take charge of the change process. Get out in front.  My advice about the topic is to go someplace different to talk about change – if you sit in the same chair and do the same things you are not likely to think differently.  Change the environment to change the thinking

Years ago one of our senior executives told me that he saw me as a champion of change.  I took that as a real compliment and have always tried to promote positive thinking about change. Leaders set the tone and your long term success will be closely tied to how you plan, manage and implement change.

Posted on 07/09/2012 9:04 AM by Joe Scarlett
Monday, 2 July 2012
Delegate your way to success

The number one obstacle to executive growth is the inability and unwillingness to really delegate responsibility.  Non-delegators are also known as “micro-managers” and micro-managers may be the biggest morale busters in business. So if you want to move up the ladder get comfortable letting go.

Discuss the big picture mission repetitively, clearly outline the strategies, define the tasks and expected results and set a timely review schedule.  Then get out of the way starting with the words “I trust you.”

You may be uncomfortable with real delegation but after a while you will feel better and eventually you will relax.  When you become confident with your delegation you can begin to spend your valuable time thinking about longer term strategies to grow your business.  And when you reach this point the big bosses will look at you in a very different way.

Posted on 07/02/2012 11:05 AM by Joe Scarlett
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