Entrepreneurs vs Employees

Your employees are not as committed to your company’s success as you are.  If you are an entrepreneurial owner, this fact is something you must understand.  I have seen this misalignment in many companies and it often leads to turmoil within the culture. This entrepreneur.com article provides 6 important points for entrepreneurs when leading their company. The first point may be the most important: 1. Employees are equally invested. Here’s a painful truth: Employees aren’t going to take ownership the way you want them to. If they wanted to be entrepreneurs, they would have taken that path. And it’s good that they’re not as invested as you are — it’s a problem if… Read More

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Launching New Leaders

I’ve been working with a couple clients considering internal candidates for first-time leadership roles.  This process is always tricky.  We can assess the person’s leadership style, aptitudes and motivations, but there are many more aspects to leadership than just these components. This LinkedIn post provides 6 mistakes rookie leaders often make.  The article is on point and you will quickly notice that the mistakes are polar opposites.  Often, a weakness is a strength taken too far.  That being true, a couple mistakes from the article jumped out at me: 2. Too hands off What a lot of people fail to realize is that with every promotion comes more work not… Read More

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Emotional Intelligence Of Leaders

What are the keys to EQ?  This post from TTI provides great insight into the entire topic.  A couple traits to consider: 1. Possess self-awareness Before someone can be effective interacting with others, they need to have a conscious knowledge of their own character, feelings, motives, and desires. The “feelings” part of this equation is very important. When those feelings are not positive, having the ability to control emotions is paramount to managing interactions successfully. When a person is self-aware and able to employ self-regulation under stress, they tend to have more successful outcomes (and less regret). Personally, I believe all EQ flows out of self-awareness; without it, the person is unable to… Read More

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The Creativity of Sarcasm

Sarcasm leads to creativity.  Creativity is a needed trait in most leadership positions today. From INC.com: What did the researchers find?  Sarcasm, it turns out, is a pretty good mental workout. “To create or decode sarcasm, both the  expressers and recipients of sarcasm need to overcome the contradiction (i.e., psychological distance) between the literal and actual meanings of the sarcastic expressions. This is a process that activates and is facilitated by abstraction, which in turn promotes creative thinking. … The result was “those in the sarcasm conditions subsequently performed better on creativity tasks than those in the sincere conditions or the control condition. I have had the opportunity to assess… Read More

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The Leadership Revolution of Gen X

We’re at an interesting place in our country’s generational gap. The large Baby Boomer generation is flowing out of the workplace daily while the largest generation, Millennials, are ascendant.  However, before we turn the leadership keys over to the Millennials, there is a generation with something to say…Gen X. Gen X now accounts for 51% of leadership roles globally according to this CNBC article.  In fact: With an average of 20 years of workplace experience, they (Gen X) are primed to quickly assume nearly all top executive roles. Now isn’t that interesting?  The forgotten generation will be in charge so what does that mean for everyone?  Here are some highlights… Read More

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Your Boss Is A Psychopath

Maybe, according to this article in Entrepreneur. Check out this statistic: …experts say there’s almost one psychopath for every 100 people, with rates shooting up in the workplace, especially in leadership, thanks to psychopaths’ ease with manipulation. Research finds that nearly 4 percent of corporate CEOs are psychopaths, and this rate is nearly doubled among middle managers. (Shockingly, the share of psychopaths among middle managers is nearly as high as the share of psychopaths in medium security prisons.) I have worked for many bosses with whom I would question their psychopathic tendencies.  I suppose that term deserves definition from within the article. A psychopath stands out, Woodward says, thanks to… Read More

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One Third Of CEO’s Are Worthless In Sales

Those aren’t my words but rather the findings from a Selling Power survey.  From the article: A recent Selling Power online survey found that 29 percent of sales leaders judged their CEO useless when it comes to creating a sale. Almost one third and I think I have worked for all of them!  The savvy sales CEO is a rare bird indeed.  Of course there is more to the article than just this survey.  The author focuses on the customer experience as seen through your salesperson representing your company in the market.  This representation is critical in making a successful sales hire – you have to envision the salesperson selling… Read More

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Do Great Salespeople Make Great Managers?

That is an age-old question, isn’t it?  You can insert your favorite sports example here which typically involves a superstar/Hall of Fame-caliber athlete who fails as a coach because the game came too easy to him.  But does this analogy work in the sales arena also? This Sales & Marketing Management article approaches the topic with aplomb. The pull quote (emphasis mine): Sometimes great salespeople aren’t as good at coaching and managing other people – they’re excellent at being individual contributors, they’re great at building relationships with customers and working deals from start to finish, but they lack the patience or coaching ability or intangible interpersonal savvy to be responsible… Read More

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Forming, Storming And Norming Teams

That is how teambuilding occurs according to the Tuckman model and I agree.  Assessing entire sales teams provides me an inside view at teams and how they function and this model plays out consistently. This article covers many interesting topics with a focus on creativity killers.  Creativity is difficult to measure or assess, but there are things a sales leader can do to help foster creativity.  From the article (emphasis mine): It’s easy to look at models like that and think that cohesion and friendliness should be the ultimate goal. But surprisingly, when it comes to creativity, the best teams fight a little (or even a lot). Structured, task-oriented conflict… Read More

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The Singular Difference Between Introverts and Extroverts

Stereotypes abound around introverts and extroverts-most of them are simply untrue.  The stereotypes go too far in categorizing behaviors.  Part of the issue flows from the Myers-Briggs and its binary assignment of introversion/extroversion.  You are simply one or the other…completely, according to that tool (of which I am not a big fan). This article provides a succinct, accurate definition based on Jung’s work: Shyness and being outgoing don’t have anything to do with it; it’s more about where we get our energy from. In fact, the differences are pretty simple: Introverts get exhausted by social interaction and need solitude to recharge. Extroverts get anxious when left alone and get energy… Read More

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