Archives for the month of: August, 2014

As a leader, I’ve observed that a key differentiator which separates superstar performers from average employees is their desire for continuous self-development.

By definition, lifelong learning is the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons.

My personal self-improvement pursuit includes:

  • voracious reading of business books and magazines
  • consistently applying automobile university (listening to books on CD while driving)
  • attending live seminars
  • utilizing the amazing and unlimited content of the internet
  • challenging myself physically with new and diverse sporting activities

Consider being a “role model of possibility!”  Becoming all that you can be by striving to always keep growing can set an example that will change other people’s lives.

As Marshall Goldsmith eloquently stated, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”.

 

lifelong learning

 

 

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Recog

During a revisit of Dale Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends and Influence People, I was reminded of the importance of recognizing and praising other people.

A review of virtually any survey on why employees quit their organizations (or bosses!) reveals that the lack of praise, feedback and/or recognition is a consistent contributing cause for their departure.

Reflecting on past experience, I believe that leaders would do well to seize this opportunity and make ongoing recognition an essential part of their management toolbox.

And not just by email! Whenever possible, a face-to-face thank you and acknowledgement, or handwritten feedback, will typically be seen as much more meaningful by the recipient.

Some recognition checkpoints:

  • ensure the praise is very specific, citing exactly what the person did, and why it was beneficial to the team
  • it must be genuine and authentic
  • provide recognition as close to the action as possible…urgency is impactful
  • although praising in public is desired, be aware that a jealousy factor on the part of others might occur

Leadership challenge: are there opportunities for you to improve your reward and recognition efforts?

While reading the June 2014 edition of Men’s Health magazine, I came across an article by CNN New Day anchor Chris Cuomo, son of former New York governor Mario Cuomo.

My followers know that I typically focus on leadership in business, and as I read the insights from Chris in “What My Pop Taught Me”, it dawned on me that the “life lessons” that Chris had learned from his father had an amazing correlation to ideals that can easily be applied toward great leadership.

Here’s a recap of those 5 ideals, and their key foundations.

  • It’s okay to ask for help.
    • Find someone with knowledge and help that you can benefit from.
  • Work hard at everything.
    • Hard work is a requirement, not an extra.
  • Listen to that voice inside.
    • Follow your gut, even if it means being unpopular.
  • Don’t wallow in self-pity.
    • Trouble will come, you will have failures. You can’t control that, but what you can control is how you handle it!
  • Always show compassion.
    • Dedicate your energies to something bigger than yourself.

Cuomo