Prepare for Success – Does it matter?

February 20th, 2010

It sounds silly but it can mean the difference between medicore success (or even failure) and SUCCESS. Especially as companies begin to emerge from the recession or at least grow volume, it is vital to be prepared -both from a company standpoint and a personal standpoint. Otherwise, the opportunity could pass you by. After waiting ALL this time, who wants to watch as it passes by? I assume the answer is no one!

I wrote an article about preparing for success for the ACA Newsletter, as the edition was surrounding this general theme. Read the entire article: here.

In essence, I talk in detail about three key steps: 1) First, plan. 2) Flexibility. 3) Communication. Sounds easy, right? Nope – in my experience in working with multiple organizations and with business and community leaders, this somewhat simple sounding process is not only often overlooked but becomes a challenge to implement – if nothing else for lack of time.

Instead of letting this occur, take action to CHANGE the potential course and prioritize this preparation. I guarantee it will pay off down-the-road.

The Power of Language

February 16th, 2010

I recently wrote a newsletter feature article on the “Power of Language”: click here.

In today’s turbulent times, it is vital to stand out in the crowd. One way to achieve that is through the power of language. Think about who tends to be remembered – is it those with the interesting ideas? Or is it those who can communicate interesting and powerful ideas? Hands down – it is always those who can communicate the powerful ideas. As my nephew would probably say, “it isn’t fair”. Yet, it is reality.

Thus, it seems to make good sense to continually improve our communication skills. One way to do that is by building your power of language. I discuss several tips in my article; however, the highlights are as follows: 1) Focus your message on your audience. 2) Simplify! 3) Use examples, analogies, etc. 4) Preparation & practice. 5) Speak, write or present with confidence.

There is no doubt that this is a learned skill – after all, many of my former colleagues will confirm my “improvement”. Of course, this is a continual process and it is all relative to where you start, so why not start now – the sooner, the better. It won’t take long before you start to notice a difference if you stick to it. Give it a try.

Best Leadership Advice to Kick off 2010

January 31st, 2010

I was recently quoted in Career Smart Advisor’s article, “The Best Leadership Advice”. My top 3 pieces of advice are as follows:

1. Do what you say you’ll do. This is obvious, but rarely achieved since it sounds much easier than it is to implement in practice.

2. Be consistent and up front with people. This is a key to gaining respect and engagement.

3. Encourage feedback; listen to feedback, but do not assume all feedback is valid or the best approach, even feedback from the CEO.

What have you found to be the best leadership advice? I’d be interested in hearing from you and debaing with you. By the way, my advice comes courtesy of my HR mentor, Debra Daniels. Sometimes it’s not creating new but knowing who to listen to which is most important in achieving success.

Read the full article: click here.

Top Traits of Successful Project Leaders

January 21st, 2010

Are you interested in what all successful project leaders have in common? If so, refer to my recent article in Project Times about this subject: click here.

After evaluating what “works” from being involved in hundreds of projects ranging from the simple to complex, multi-million dollar ones, I’ve identified the top traits of the project leaders who delivered RESULTS: 1) Set direction. 2) Manage the critical path with rigor. 3) Listen and provide feedback. I expand upon these traits in the full article.

I’m interested in your thoughts and feedback. What have you seen?

Business Planning for 2010

January 13th, 2010

Whether we are in a recovery or whether it will turn out to be short-lived, one way to ensure your business is successful is to incorporate lessons learned into business planning for the year ahead.

I was recently quoted in “Erosion Control” in an article on business planning for 2010 about this subject: Lisa Anderson, founder and president of LMA Consulting Group in Claremont, CA, says the 2010 business plan will be a pivotal turning point for companies. “All of the cushion is long gone—it is now essential to immediately focus on the most effective path forward,” she says. “Business plans for 2010 must include a continuous feedback-and-adjustment loop.”

There are several interesting insights in the article. To read the full article, click here.