Leadership Strategies for Explosive Growth!
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Leadership Tools Monthly News
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Delivering leadership strategies with fresh ideas, results-focused tools and resources to assist leaders in achieving THE TRIPLE WIN.
The Triple Win consists of creating and supporting a work environment where:
Win #1 Employees - are positively engaged and feel highly valued.
Win #2 Customers - are consistently "delighted" and remain loyal.
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Volume I, January, 2003 Issue
Leadership Strategies for Explosive Growth!
T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S
- Connect and Engage! Your People Are Your Power.
- Meeting for Results
- MOMENTUM for Explosive Growth
- The Juice Bar
- Reader Meter
- Global Interest in Leadership-Tools
- Site News
Connect and Engage! Your People Are Your Power.
It's been said many times that true leadership is measured by ones ability to motivate and influence others.
Leaders must work hard at motivating people to take action necessary to drive change and to ultimately increase results.
Even though most people would agree with the definition of leadership as the ability to motivate and influence others, most people still have trouble translating the definition of leadership into actionable and measurable steps.
The biggest obstacle faced by many leaders is simply figuring out how to effectively motivate and influence an entire team comprised of unique individuals.
Let's face it, not everyone is motivated by the same things, nor is everyone influenced to take action or change behavior based on the same factors.
So, what can leaders do to motivate and influence the ENTIRE team?
Here is the elusive one-word answer: CONNECT.
Leaders must invest the time in each and every one of their team members to, get to know them - to build a connection based on trust, honesty and respect. (Keep in mind, this personal connection must always remain professional and appropriate. Enough said on that.)
Taking this one step further, leaders must create opportunities for team members to connect.
This personal and professional connection will draw you and your team together, to work more effectively to improve efficiencies and increase production and profitability.
To help you envision the ultimate in a leader that successfully connects with his/her team members, let's look at a fictional example. Any "Trekies" out there? Don't flip the channel, this will be quick.
Even if "Star Trek" is not a TV favorite of yours, odds are you probably know enough about the long running series to appreciate our example.
Regardless of which Star Trek captain you visualize, all are terrific examples of leaders (albeit fictional) who have a unique connection to each and every member of the crew.
It's also obvious to the viewer that each team member has an unwavering allegiance to the team, the mission, and to his or her leader. (envision Captain YOU!)
Just imagine your own team having such a solid connection, both with you and with each other.
Picture you and your team facing exciting and challenging situations together, "Exploring strange new worlds!" and "Boldly going where no one has gone before!"
Maybe this means taking your team to the #1 spot in your company, and/or reaching new levels of efficiency and/or production!
The prospect of leading a team that is connected is exciting isn't it?
Ok, we've talked about connection and the importance of building a connected team. Next we see that connection is the key ingredient leaders must leverage in order to raise the level of employee engagement.
An employee that is engaged in their work will typically run circles around employees who are working simply by showing up and "going through the motions".
If an employee is engaged, it means that they feel they have a stake in the outcome - an honest desire to contribute to something greater than themselves, or even montetary gain.
The engaged employee has emotion tied to their work. Perhaps that emotion comes out of a sense of loyalty and connection to their leader or other team members.
Top leaders understand that in order to connect with their workforce, they need to leverage the power of emotion. Only by connecting with the individuals can a leader create a powerful team consisting of employees who are committed and engaged.
KEY MESSAGE: CONNECT TO ENGAGE.
Now that we now understand the concepts of connection and engagement, so let's get specific and share some examples of how a leader can achieve the connection that will inspire employee engagement:
- Leaders must know up front where they are taking their team. They must "believe in" and "see a clear vision of the future". In order for you to know when you have achieved your vision, the vision must be measurable. Here are some examples of a vision with measurable results.
Leaders must communicate their vision in a way that inspires others to "believe". Communicating change can be difficult. Communicating a clear action plan that everyone can understand lessens anxiety. Change always creates opportunity. Turning the anxiety of change into excitement for opportunity should be the goal of the leader when communicating the new vision. Here are some examples:
- Showing most improvement quarter over quarter.
- Achieving balanced performance - your team is listed in the Top 3 ranking in every key category.
- Reaching the net income annual goal, or gaining market share over a key competitor!
Leaders must support, promote, inspire and motivate team members to realize the vision. Motivate team members by giving everyone an opportunity for personal gain, above and beyond their regular pay. For example:
- Breakdown vision into individual goals so team members understand their roles and responsibilities.
- Hold all team kick-off meeting to unveil overall vision and action plan. Add fun and excitement. Anticipate questions and be prepared to overcome any perceived barriers.
- Implement tracking and regular progress reporting to keep team focused on achieving each step leading up to the ultimate goal.
A team is only as strong as its weakest link. Leaders must hold team members accountable for their duties and responsibilities. This is only fair to those employees doing a great job. Hold accountable any team member who is not doing his/her fair share. In order to achieve great things, you must expect great things from your people. Consider these examples:
- Introduce a special incentive program. (This doesn't have to cost a lot of money.) Base awards on a percentage of "net" gain to the organization - not just one persons ability to achieve an individual goal.
- Offer "interim" awards to key contributors once the team achieves mid-level goals.
- Make a point of "celebrating" the small wins, which will ultimately lead to the BIG WIN! Use gift certificates, lottery tickets, recognition awards, etc - praise and recognize individual and team accomplishments along the way.
- BE CONSISTENT in your counsel. Hold yourself accountable! Did you TEACH? Did you COACH? Only then can you EXPECT!
- BE CONSISTENT in your counsel.
1st offense = verbal warning (ensure clarity of roles and responsibilities)
2nd offense = written warning (get signature for documentation)
3rd offense = final notice (employee must understand that you will support their choice to either improve immediately or to move on to a more rewarding opportunity.)
4th offense = termination
- and finally, BE CONSISTENT in your counsel.
In wrapping up this conversation may we reiterate one last time - when you have succeeded in creating a team that is connected, you can count on each of them having a higher degree of personal engagement toward meeting the goals before them.
Still wondering if this connection thing is really that powerful of a concept? Real quick, think about the following examples of leaders who have connected with people on a broad scale, and the kinds of results that came from achieving such a powerful connection:
- President Reagan - connected so effectively with the people of a foreign nation and around the world by effectively communicating the words "Tear down this wall!"
- Boris Yeltsin - won support from people all across the globe as he stood on a tank and quite literally stared down the face of communism.
The final point here is that you do NOT need to be a world leader in order to be a great leader. Through the power of connection you can inspire a higher degree of employee engagement which will enable you and your team to achieve new levels of efficiency and production.
Enjoy the journey!
Meeting for Results
MOMENTUM - for Explosive Growth
The following is a terrific exercise on the importance and the success generated by momentum. John C. Maxwell, author of multiple books on the subject of leadership and teamwork, talks at length about the power of momentum. He calls it The Big Mo! He is right on.
Most folks know that once you gain and experience momentum toward reaching a goal, the outcome seems inevitable. The process quickly becomes more fun and life in general seems a bit more rewarding.
This little exercise will help you illustrate to your team the power of momentum.
This will help you gain buy-in to the notion that your team can achieve much more together than any one can achieve individually. Here is the exercise:
Take four(4) large wine bottles filled with liquid (water). Take two(2) people and have them compete to find who can pour the fastest. Then with the two remaining bottles, have another volunteer pour against you. But before you start pouring your bottle, first swirl the liquid in your bottle and you will find that with MOMENTUM, your bottle will pour the liquid out twice as fast as the one without momentum. Cool huh? Enjoy!
Another fun exercise leaders can use in their meetings to encourage team members to think outside the box is what we call Play it Backward, Flip it Forward!
The exercise works like this: Rather than asking a typical question such as, "How do we make sure our current customers do not leave us, or close their account?" PLAY IT BACKWARD - and instead ask the question like this, "What can we do to make sure our customers leave us, or close their accounts today?"
Yes, at first your people will think you are crazy, but that is not a bad thing! Really, it's not!
Make a complete list of all the things you can do to ensure your customers run to the competition today!
Then, FLIP IT FORWARD - obviously, everything you have listed are items that you wouldn't think of doing because it would be detrimental to your business.
However, look in the list for things that you know should not occur, but on some level your organization may be guilty of doing on occasion. (Example: Thanking customers for their business.)
For any items you identify as behaviors that need improvement, establish individual commitments from each team member. (How much, of what, by when, by whom.) Measure your progress over the next week, share results and celebrate successes!
The Juice Bar
The Power of Persistence!
The following quote comes from our former President, Calvin Coolidge. In times of stress or uncertainty, we find these words inspirational.
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.
Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
The slogan "press on" has solved
and always will solve
the problems of the human race.
So true are the above words, we felt strongly we wanted to share this quote with our readers in our first edition.
In all things, those who achieve great things - do so through adversity.
And without a doubt, so can YOU - PRESS ON!
Global Interest in Leadership-Tools!
WOW! It is almost unbelievable that it was only late September when we first came online!
Since that time, we have seen tremendous growth in our visitor traffic. During the month of December over 300 visitors viewed over 1,000 pages on our site.
Not too shabby since we have not yet spent one dime on advertising! Do we sound proud?
Leadership-tools.com is truly experiencing the power of the Internet and the global marketplace. In the month of December 2002, we have heard from visitors from the following countries:
United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Singapore, Czech Republic, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russian Federation, Seychelles, Austria, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Turkey, and Ukraine.
In addition, we have welcomed visitors from the US Educational system, the US Military, and several Non-Profit and Commercial Organizations.
Yes, it's been a very busy and hectic two months, but we have achieved so much!
We feel is has been especially worth the effort when each week we check our stats and see that we have new monthly subscribers! Thank you for your support!
Last month you may have noticed that we introduced our new Leadership Auction page. The Leadership Auction page truly compliments our existing Leadership Outlet store located at
The Leadership Auction page offers great deals for leaders to purchase unique office gifts that can easily be used for reward and recognition opportunities in the workplace. Check it out at
We have acquired some amazing deals on items that are new, never been used, clearance items. Now get this! If you want more than one item (say 5, 10, 25, or more) just send us a quick email asking us to post an auction for the quantity of the item(s)you desire, and we will do so as long as supplies last.
Good luck in your bidding!
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