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Balanced Leadership

As a speaker and experienced business professional, my goal will be to challenge you to think of your business and your relationships with your key constituents in new ways. As lifelong learners, we are compelled to see important things in a new light and our quest should be to go to where the puck is going not to where it has been. This has also been a prevailing theme in my career. From part-time trailer loader at UPS to President of The UPS Store and later UPS Supply Chain Solutions, this approach has helped me shape simple yet thought-provoking lessons into tangible results. I challenge myself and others to not stop at the first right answer and to consider these same things as they are managing their operations. It also is what led me to write my book “Tighten the Lug Nuts.”

As you are reading the signs of your industry and looking for ways to stay ahead of the pack in a dynamic market, I encourage you to holistically look at your business through the lens of what I call, Balanced Leadership. These are principles to manage by that, I believe, help optimize business performance while satisfying the needs of your customers, your people and your stakeholders. After 40 years, I continue to use this philosophy. For me, it has become invaluable, because I see so many leaders who focus only on one area of their business – usually the bottom line. By using such a myopic approach, these leaders are neglecting two very important business components that drive true success: the people and the processes.

 Balanced Leadership

It doesn’t matter who you are or what your job and level, as a leader you are responsible for balancing the needs of your three constituent groups: your people, your customers and your stakeholders.

• Balanced Leaders think like a customer and ensure their people think like a customer.

• Balanced Leaders act like an owner and understand the business and what makes it profitable.

• Balanced Leaders ensure their employees and stakeholders feel valued.

But where do you start? Which is the most important? How do you keep them equally in balance?

Let me address your most important constituent – your customer. For without them, your business wouldn’t exist.

Think Like Who?

Think like a customer. It a simple statement – pretty straight forward. But how do you breathe life into this concept for your customers to experience it and your people to understand it? The answer is fairly simple: It’s essential to create a brand identity from a customer perspective and then get your team to execute the organization’s customer strategy.

Here’s an example from my days at UPS Supply Chain Solutions. We were focusing on customers in the healthcare industry, and as a solution was being developed in concert with a large customer, the question was asked: who is the customer? Some in the group responded, “the patient.” Others said, "the healthcare provider” or, “the vendor network.” Still others felt that the customer was, “the hospitals, clinics and pharmaceutical companies.” 

At times, all may be right, but in this particular solution and for this strategy, the question had to be answered before they could move forward. Who is the customer? Once you establish this critical point, then you can establish some very important next steps in the process:

• What are you solving for?

• What won’t you compromise?

• What are your boundaries?

• What keeps the customer awake at night?

• What are the key metrics that you will hold yourself accountable to?

• What does good look like?

There are many other examples, but this is a fundamental question that must be answered to ensure everyone is in sync.

For us in UPS Supply Chain Solutions, and in particular our health care vertical, it became our mantra and part of our branding: “It’s a Patient, Not a Package.” Now, the branding is: “United Problem Solvers.” That’s thinking like a customer!

Constantly Question Your Status Quo

For you to think like a customer, you have to think and be a solutions provider. Ask yourself, how do I help my customer by providing them the best possible solution? It starts with asking your customer, “What keeps you awake at night?”, that begins the solution process. You’ll need to think about new opportunities to participate in the aftermarket industry or create new solutions … new ways of doing business that don’t currently exist.

Think like a customer by approaching each challenge as a true solutions provider. By watching you and seeing your example – your people need to embrace this concept so they will think like a customer in all they do. Doing so will help your team view the business from the eyes of the customer. This mindset and vision will better guide their decisions and actions.

Someone is going to be the best, so why not you and your team? Make sure you are tightening lug nuts in your control as you lead by example.

Rocky Romanella speaks, consults, trains and advises on leadership development, customer service and business optimization. The author of TIGHTEN THE LUG NUTS: The Principles of Balanced Leadership can be reached @ 949-551-2669.

Rocky Romanella

 

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What we can learn about Presentation Skills from Donald Trump!

 

Needless to say, it has been one of the most polarizing and nastiest Presidential elections of our time and one of the biggest upsets too. Regardless of whether you are Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, or Green OR whether you voted for Trump, Clinton, Johnson, Stein, or wrote in Bernie’s name or someone else’s…this election was a stunner!

Let me say that as a Presentation Skills Coach, I never publicly pick sides, and I will never do so, but I use public figures to help make some points about Public Speaking. And I have always used Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan in my seminars and keynote speeches as examples of two, two-term Presidents who both were considered “great communicators”. So regardless of whether you are happy or sad about the outcome of the election, let’s simply focus on the communication skills of Donald Trump and see if we can learn something to help us with our messaging…

1)     Keep Your Message Simple, and Repeat

Many studies have proven that people remember statistically less than 10% of what they hear when listening to a presentation. I always ask my participants, “What do you remember from school or college?” That gets a lot of laughs and proves the point…case closed. Regardless of the actual percentage number, one of the first things Donald Trump did was keep his message simple. He had special names for his Republican competitors during the primaries, and of course a special name for Hillary…need I say more. Point is he said these words and phrases over and over again, and in essence he kept the message simple even above and beyond name calling.

2)     Keep Your Vocal and Body Energy Up

Trump joked about Jeb Bush having low energy, and then accused Hillary Clinton of exactly the same thing. Generally speaking, Donald Trump had more vocal energy, used more body language, and generally took the energy from the crowd to help him soar even higher. Bill Clinton used to do the same thing. Both of these guys enjoy the spotlight, and like seasoned rock stars, they get inspired by their audiences and then they deliver. They use the energy of the crowd to lift them up!

3)     Be Authentic, and let out the Optimum You!

It is no secret that Hillary Clinton was more of a behind the scenes, get the job done, type of person, and that she dreaded the actual campaigning part of the job, regardless of her overwhelming qualifications. Hillary supporters were always telling us how “funny” and “charming” she is one on one or in private. Too bad for her we didn’t see more of that in public? Furthermore, Donald Trump (again love him or hate him) seemed like he was being himself. Self-assured, confident, brash, unapologetic, and never tentative…

In summary, I always tell my clients, it is okay to “know your stuff”, but also “look good” in the process, therefore you can have the best of both worlds, by not only being smart, but looking smart too!

Till Kahrs is has been a Business Communication Consultant for over 25 years. He is also a Keynote Speaker and has worked with over half of the Fortune 1000 and is a frequent guest on Television appearing on networks such as Fox National News and ABC TV. Kahrs is also the best-selling author of “Enhancing Your Presentations Skills”, an international business classic now also available as a Kindle or Nook E-book. Two of Kahrs’ most popular keynote topics are “Handling the Hot Seat” and “Speaking Successfully” which address in much greater detail some of the issues mentioned above.

Speakers For Success....To Book Till Kahrs...949-551-2669

 

 

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LETTING GO IS HARD TO DO

The following story illustrates just how difficult letting go can be. Certain parts of the world, especially India and parts of Asia, have a real problem with troops of marauding monkeys. These critters steal food, destroy crops, and are even responsible for having transmitted the HIV virus to the human population. When monkeys move from being a mere nuisance to being a full-blown threat, they have to be captured and moved.


The most common method of catching monkeys has been to shoot them with tranquilizer guns, place them in crates, and move them to the wild. But monkeys are very fragile creatures, and many of them die as a result of being captured this way. In recent years animal rights activists have forced monkey catchers to revert to a method of capture that’s hundreds of years old. Here’s how it works.

Enlightened monkey catchers use only a bag of gourds, some string, a sharp knife, and peanuts or candy to handily capture their unsuspecting victims. Upon spotting a group of monkeys in a tree, the monkey catcher begins by tossing a few small stones or pieces of bark into the tree to scatter and isolate them. Then, moving to the base of a tree where a monkey is perched, he takes out one of the gourds, cuts it in half, hollows it out, puts the two pieces back together, and wraps it round and round with string. Using his knife, he cuts a small hole in the gourd, and then, in full view of the monkey, he begins stuffing the gourd with candy or nuts. Very curious by nature, the monkey watches intently as the monkey catcher continues filling the gourd with treats. When the gourd is about half-full, the monkey catcher sets it down on the ground and backs off.

Sensing an opportunity, the monkey quickly scrambles down from the tree, grabs the gourd, tries to peer inside, smells something it wants, and begins working its tiny hand through the tinier hole in hot pursuit of what’s inside. Wrestling its hand deep into the gourd, the monkey grabs a handful of treats. However, when it tries to remove its prize-filled fist from the gourd, it can't get it out. The harder it tries, the less success it has, and eventually the monkey  catcher approaches the preoccupied monkey, delivers a quick shot of a short-term  tranquilizer, and places the monkey in a crate for its journey to a new home.


The moral of the story is best posed as a question: What was the only thing the monkey had to do to get free? The answer, of course, is “Let go.” But it’s simply not in a monkey’s DNA to let go when its little fist is stuffed with candy or nuts. “Hey, I’m no chimp,” you might say. No, of course you’re not. We humans only share 98.5 percent of our DNA with monkeys. I’m guessing that the gene for not letting go is part of the DNA we have in common.

Contributed By:  Jason Jennings...Keynote Leadership Speaker/NY Times Bestselling Author

Standing Ovation Speaker..Jason Jennings

 

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5 MYTHS ALL LEADERS BELIEVE THAT PREVENT THEM FROM BUILDING A HIGH-SPEED COMPANY

Do you worry about a lack of urgency at your company? If you do, you're in good company. I've asked 11,000 highly successful business leaders in the last dozen years, "What keeps you awake at night?" A lack of urgency has consistently been at the top of the list. "It's hesitation and half-hearted execution that'll kill us," they say, "not our competition." Here are five myths that that keep you from creating the urgency you need to compete in a nanosecond culture. 

Go big or go home

HP made a huge bet on Compaq and it cost them $13 billion. Merrill Lynch bet big on sub-prime and it cost them their company. Time Warner and AOL was the biggest bet of the new millennium and the biggest loser too (costing 70% of their stock's value). Sprint and Nextel were another sad tale. Like so many 'go big or go home' strategies each was a business bust costing billions. 

High-speed companies go big too. They acquire, they merge, they expand, and they reinvent whole categories. But before they go big they follow the first rule of creating a fairy tale ending; if you want to find a prince you got to kiss a lot of frogs.

High-speed companies think big and act small, making many smart, bite-sized bets to uncover big opportunities. They experiment more and prototype everything. They've learned customer's stories and can read between the lines. They've curbed their egos. They have the courage to anticipate further, fail fast and to say, "It's okay to make mistakes." They get more buy-in. And they've filled their ranks with the rarest type of business executive- the open minded, lifelong learner. 

You must amaze and delight your customers

You can't grow fast if your good customers are leaving you. But the critical first step in keeping good customers isn't to "amaze and delight" them. 

"We're not looking for over-the-top service to stay loyal," 75,000 business clients and consumers told the researchers from the Corporate Executive Board. "Just don't lose our luggage, make dealing with you a pain in the ass and deliver less than you promised us." In other words, don't suck. 

High-speed companies understand all business has a blind spot that must be cured. "By the time you figure out you suck ...you've sucked for a long, long time," is our immutable law of suckage. Any business that's lost good customers was disappointing them a long time before revenues headed south. 

High-speed companies figure out the four or five basic expectations customers have. Then they find out if they've executed flawlessly. Stop asking, "Do you like us and are you satisfied?"  Instead ask, "Did we do A, B, C & D as we promised?" If they say no to any one of them how can you think they're satisfied?" And if you discover you've dropped the ball, take heavy action. 

Every minute of planning saves ten

Companies have taken common sense (don't run your business by impulse and emotion) to exaggerated levels. How exaggerated is planning these days? Big organizations now spend 200,000 man-hours planning and budgeting for every one billion dollars in revenues. Effective planning can save time and money. But as the North American President of IKEA told us, "Exaggerated planning is death." n Exaggerated planning wastes time. 80% of meeting time these days addresses only 20% of what's important. n Exaggerated planning causes executives to be rigid and lose flexibility as they blindly administer the "500 page plan from headquarters." n And it contributes to "paralysis by analysis," where our worry over being wrong tie ties individual initiative into knots. Instead of exaggerated plans, truly high speed companies have a short list of "the shall's and shall not's" for their business. Their guiding principles act as boundaries - increasing ethical, strategic action and motivating everyone to adapt, improvise and overcome all obstacles quickly.

Consequences make people more accountable

When an engineer in ancient Rome finished building a bridge, by law he had to sleep under it. Centuries later the English upped the ante, making his family join him under that new bridge. Harsh consequences made people more accountable in ancient minds - if your work was defective you and your loved ones would suffer. Some bosses totally agree. High-speed CoBank has a better idea. Under CEO Bob Engel's leadership the fast growing, highly profitable, incredibly productive bank uses engagement and clarity instead of blame and punishment to achieve greater accountability. "Our leadership teams sit across the table from those expected to follow through and says, 'This is something important and we're important and we're going to entrust you to be accountable. Now, let us tell you what we were thinking, where we're trying to go and let's discuss it and find out what do you need from our end?'" "You got to be out there," says Engel, "and get on the same page."

Nothing succeeds like success

In 1988 one in four beers sold in America was a Budweiser. Now it's one in twelve. n Between 1990 and 1999 The Gap grew sales double digits every year. Since 2004 sales have stalled. n Blackberry (RIM) surged, $300 million in 2003 to $20 billion eight years later. By 2014 Blackberry had tumbled to just $6.8 billion. In all these cases and at every other high flyer that plummeted over the last four decades, success has been a double-edged sword. Nothing beats the elation of winning, putting up big numbers and leaving the competition in the dust. But success also makes risk takers risk adverse, empowers a bureaucracy and motivates "yes men" to sweep any uncomfortable truth under the rug. High-speed companies follow the wisdom of Franklin, Grove and Solo. "Doubt your own infallibility," wrote Ben Franklin. "Only the paranoid survive," wrote Intel's Andy Grove. "Great job kids...don't get cocky," advised Han Solo.
 

Contributed by.. Jason Jennings, a NY Times Bestselling Author & International Keynote Speaker       

Standing Ovation Speaker

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IT IS THE LEADERS JOB TO CREATE GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR HIS PEOPLE

       Jason Jennings,  a NY Times Bestselling Author (many times over now) and may well                          be one of those speakers that " you have to book before you die"

      Jason Jennings, a NY Times Bestselling Author (many times over now) and may well                          be one of those speakers that "you have to book before you die"

During the past dozen years, my research teams and I have evaluated the financial performance of more than 220,000 businesses around the world, built dossiers on more than 50,000 of the best and have interviewed more than 11,000 business leaders across every business category. We've been on a search for whatever it is that allows great leaders and companies to think and move faster than their competitors, to be dramatically more productive than their peers and to consistently innovate and grow their businesses.

The conclusion of our research is that great companies, whose success has withstood the test of time and challenging economic cycles; all have a short list of four or six guiding principles that are known, believed and practiced by everyone in the organization.

The advantages of operating with a set of guiding principles or values are numerous. When a company has a list of guiding values, the enterprise becomes naturally faster. Decisions are easily made; they either fit the guiding principles or they don't. Decision making is moved downward because the guiding principles provide a very clear roadmap for everyone to follow. When everyone knows and uses the rules of the road, everyone in the enterprise is able to spend most of their time doing what's most important; contributing to the organization's growth.

The creation of a set of guiding principles is not a group activity. The leader's first responsibility is to create and make known to everyone in the company a list of the guiding principles or values — the rules of the road — by which all decisions will be made. Here are a few of the guiding principles we discovered during the course of our research.

Doing Well by Doing Good
It starts with taking whatever you do, sell or produce and wrapping it in a purpose that gives meaning to people's lives. If a business is going to become and remain successful it must have a clearly stated noble purpose that's acknowledged, lived and celebrated daily by everyone in the organization.

The Customer
Great companies understand that the sole purpose of business isn't to make a profit; it's to find, keep and grow the right customers. The byproduct of successfully finding, keeping and growing the right customer is the well-earned profit. Only by continually exceeding the right customer's expectations and having a tacit understanding that each time you exceed them that the bar moves even higher, can a company truly succeed and consistently grow.

Transparency and Truth
The best way to build a highly successful company is to share the knowledge with all the people. As Charles Koch, the founder and Chairman, of Koch Industries, one of the two largest privately held companies in the world, told me, "Knowledge isn't power; execution is power," and he added, "the more people who have the knowledge, the more likely you are to have flawless execution."

Urgency
This happens when people believe so strongly in something that they have a burning desire to make it happen immediately. The reason it has to happen now isn't for the rapid accumulation of wealth or motivated by greed, but because they truly believe that what they're doing is so important and beneficial to the end user that they need to get it in their hands as fast as possible.

A Road to Prosperity for Everyone
I begin almost every speech I deliver by asking the audience how many of them would like to make more money. Every hand goes up. Next, I ask them how many would like a promotion at some point. Again, every hand is raised high. Finally, I ask them to answer aloud one more question. "When would you like these things to happen?" The resounding response is always a shouted, "Now!"

Everyone wants a better tomorrow than today and great companies either give everyone an opportunity for actual ownership or provide a pathway to compensation and advancement that accomplishes the same objective. When Twitter went public in the autumn of 2013, one of the greatest thrills their CEO, Dick Costolo, recalls is that of the 1400 employees working at their San Francisco headquarters, more than 1200 became millionaires overnight.

Contributed by.. Jason Jennings, a NY Times Bestselling Author & International Keynote Speaker       

Standing Ovation Speaker

 

 

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Leaders must ensure there are no barriers to communication

Develop a reliable process for communicating that fits your style.

To be a Good Communicator you first need to understand your role as a leader, what you do, as well as what’s expected of you.

To inspire openness and trust, listen with the intent to act and invite feedback. Articulate a clear set of organizational values that embrace integrity, fairness, and compassion.

Values communicate beliefs.

Thoughtful leaders listen and act on what they learn. This honesty and openness inspires trust, reinforces relationships and secures the loyalty of employees, customers and investors.

Good communication is vital in a business environment marked by uncertainty and change, and promotes healthy relationships.

 

Contributed by Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations, Keynote Speaker, Leadership, Motivation & Values.

Rocky Romanella, Keynote Leadership Speaker

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Balanced Leaders

Balanced Leaders Are Consistent

Leadership is the ability to quickly, accurately and effectively assess: 

  • Who you are
  • What you stand for, and
  • What you will never compromise

 As a leader, your actions and decisions should match your vision and strategy, and be consistent with what your people, customers and investors believe to be your strategy. 

 

Contributed by Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations, Keynote Speaker, Leadership, Motivation & Values.

Rocky Romanella, Keynote Leadership Speaker

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How Motivational Leadership Speakers can help your business and what to look for in a Speaker?

Having spoken to large groups, corporations, and at meetings for over 25 years I know that many times companies and meeting coordinators are hesitant, or reluctant to hire a Motivational Leadership Speaker, or perhaps any speaker for that matter.

Some of these concerns may be well founded, so having been on both sides of the fence (having been a speaker myself, and having had to participate in corporate meetings as an employee for many years) perhaps I can offer some insight into hiring a Motivational Leadership Speaker.

  • What credentials does the speaker have? What is their experience level? How long have they been doing it? These questions may seem obvious, but so many folks out there are marketing themselves as speakers, but have actually had little to no experience speaking at all. The speaker you hire should be someone who does this for a living, not someone who has been told by his or her friends: “Hey, you’d be a great speaker”. Ask any professional comedian, and they’ll tell you that everyone is funny sometimes, but to be paid and funny on the spot, when the expectations are high, that’s a different ballgame altogether!
  • Does this speaker have any video of themselves doing what they do? In this age of digital cameras and video phones, if your speaker doesn’t at least have some ‘live’ footage of themselves delivering part of a speech, that would seem suspect. Additionally, if your speaker has appeared on TV, that’s a plus. Everyone wants to get on TV because it is free publicity, therefore TV stations and broadcast networks use “extreme vetting” before they let someone on their set. When you are ‘live’ and millions are watching, there’s no time to take a chance or roll the dice on an unknown quantity.
  • Provided you’ve found a seasoned pro, hiring a Motivational Leadership Speaker makes sense because many times companies are looking for a third party to make a specific point. The reason is because, most companies have already heard from their own executive panel, therefore an outsider provides a fresh and objective perspective that the audience finds “refreshing” or dare I say “motivating”!
  • Hiring a Motivational Leadership Speaker also allows your audience to hear something that they may never hear from someone on the inside. For example, if your hired Motivational Leadership Speaker suggests that, “You haven’t reached your potential” or “I know that you can do a better job” that could possibly be political suicide for an executive delivering the very same message, as the audience may react in the following way: “Who does she think she is, everything is fine in the Marketing Dept.-Don’t blame us”, or “He’s just blaming everyone else, he’s in charge, that’s his problem not mine-He’s the boss”.
  • Finally the best for last-PRO TIP! Please note that I actually teach people how to speak, and I can tell you that the most important aspect about speaking is not necessarily the delivery (sure that’s always important, and image is almost everything) but rather THE AUDIENCE is even more important! Let me explain. If your hired Motivational Leadership Speaker does not ask you a multitude of important questions about who’ll be in the audience, what’s important to them and the challenges of your specific industry…then you’ve just hired the wrong Motivational Leadership Speaker! In other words if your audience perceives that the SAME speech that they just heard could have been given to a group of plumbers, bankers, insurance executives, or pharmaceutical salespeople that’s the kiss of death. The message to your group must be customized and specific to that audience, so that the audience realizes, “she really understands what our competition is trying to do to us” or “he gets the nuances of our industry, he seems to know a lot about us”.

In summary, hiring a Motivational Leadership Speaker is a worthwhile investment for sure, if it is the right person. Hire a pro that knows what they’re doing who has a proven track record and does this for a living. And finally make sure your speaker asks a lot of pertinent questions ahead of time (I typically spend at the very least 1-2 hours consulting with my clients before our presentation).

 

Till Kahrs is has been a Business Communication Consultant for over 25 years. He is also a Keynote Speaker and has worked with over half of the Fortune 1000 and is a frequent guest on Television appearing on networks such as Fox National News and ABC TV. Kahrs is also the best-selling author of “Enhancing Your Presentations Skills”, an international business classic now also available as a Kindle or Nook E-book. Two of Kahrs’ most popular keynote topics are “Handling the Hot Seat” and “Speaking Successfully” which address in much greater detail some of the issues mentioned above.

Till Kahrs, Keynote Speaker & Business Communications Consultant

 

 

 

 

 

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Expressing Gratitude

Creating a strong culture is critical to your company’s long-term success and growth. Balanced Leaders work hard to create the best, the brightest, most informed and best educated team in their industry.  Expressing appreciation can go a long way towards cultivating a customer-focused culture. It can be as simple as thanking customers for their business and loyalty. In every customer interaction, make sure they know you are grateful they chose to do business with you.

Contributed by Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations, Keynote Speaker, Leadership, Motivation & Values.

Rocky Romanella, Keynote Leadership Speaker

 

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Great Facilitators Make Great Leaders-7 Great Tips

Even if your physical Presentation Skills are awesome, if you are an executive leading a smaller group discussion, you may need to sharpen your Facilitation Skills as well. Here’s what I mean.

1)  Facilitate in smaller groups. Presentation Skills work great in a larger setting, especially if you are giving a speech at the annual meeting, or kicking off the fiscal year discussing company goals, etc. However, having meetings with smaller groups, your executive team, or different divisions of the company may require some facilitation skills that encourage feedback, discourse, and further discussion.

2)  Set the stage properly. Let everyone know that you’ll be guiding the discussion for sure, but that this is not about “me telling you what to do”…rather, “I need/want your input”, “We’re in this together…we’re a team”…

3)  Ask the group for their thoughts…but then PAUSE. Don’t answer the questions for the audience, but wait until someone says something. This trains the audience to get involved.

4)  Try to be neutral and encourage all opinions. Don’t discourage someone if they have a different opinion than yours. If you kill an individual’s spirit you run the risk of killing the entire discussion.

5)  Summarize and move the dialogue forward. A great technique is to summarize key points you’ve heard, and then move or transition to the next subject or gain some closure. PRO TIP: Keep in mind if you repeat what the group has told you, that doesn’t mean that you agree, and you can always summarize what YOU want to summarize…ultimately you are in control.

6)  Thought starters for slow going moments. Sometimes when an executive asks opinions of a group or tries to engage an audience, the participants may think it is a trick, especially if this is a new mantra. So, always have a few questions or comments at the ready to kick-start the dialogue and promote further engagement. Something like, “The other day I was at our Denver office…and someone asked…”

7)  Make a list of worst case scenarios ahead of time and contingency plans. When you open up a group for feedback, you run the risk of getting blindsided by tough questions, and this could lead to you feeling as though you’ve just been dropped into a big shark tank. Always, make a list of the potentially meanest/toughest comments and questions ahead of time with your specific answers and solutions to these issues dialed in. Although it may seem obvious, the clients I work with find this approach life-saving!

 

Contributed by Till Kahrs who has been a Business Communication Consultant for over 25 years. He is also a Keynote Speaker and has worked with over half of the Fortune 1000 and is a frequent guest on Television appearing on networks such as Fox National News and ABC TV. Kahrs is also the best-selling author of “Enhancing Your Presentations Skills”, an international business classic now also available as a Kindle or Nook E-book. Two of Kahrs’ most popular keynote topics are “Handling the Hot Seat” and “Speaking Successfully” which address in much greater detail some of the issues mentioned above.

Till Kahrs, Keynote Speaker & Business Communications Consultant

 

 

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Actively Listen to Customer Needs

Balanced Leaders consistently demonstrate to their customers they are in tune with their needs and are operating in their best interest.  Customers know what they want but may not always explain it in a clear manner. If you do not understand a request, ask clear, positively articulated questions until you understand. Do not rush customers, allow them at their own pace to discuss what they need. Once customers have expressed their needs confirm your understanding with them to ensure communication is clear. Doing so will help you Think Like a Customer going forward. 

Contributed by Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations, Keynote Speaker, Leadership, Motivation & Values.

Rocky Romanella, Keynote Leadership Speaker

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Be Responsive and Effectively Resolve Problems

 

 

Balanced Leaders know their audience because they think like a customer. It’s inevitable, problems occur. When they do, allow customers to fully explain the issue and then you convey empathy. If the fault lies with you or your organization, take ownership of it and apologize. Take the initiative to resolve problems in a timely and effective manner.

 

Contributed by Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations, Keynote Speaker, Leadership, Motivation & Values.

Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations/Keynote Speaker

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Expectations

Only Accept a Person’s Best

Employees often live up to your expectations whether they are high or low. Balanced Leaders keep expectations high, but realistic.

If you expect someone to be sloppy or uncooperative – and communicate that expectation to them – you usually will get what you expect. However, if you have high, but realistic expectations they often will work hard to meet them. In expecting your employees to perform well: 

· Recognize each employee’s value. 

· Convey high expectations. 

· Emphasize future needs, not past problems.

 

Contributed by Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations, Keynote Speaker, Leadership, Motivation & Values.

Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations/Keynote Speaker

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Create a Place of Worth

As you move through difficult periods on your way to success, do the ‘right thing’, take care of your customers, treat others with dignity and respect, and celebrate successes. Balanced Leaders create a culture of excellence where their people thank you for not letting them stray or compromise their values and ethics. They get excited about other ways they can participate in successfully reaching their goals and those of the organization.  Your self-worth will determine your net worth, not the other way around.  

 

Contributed by Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations, Keynote Speaker, Leadership, Motivation & Values.

Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations/Keynote Speaker

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Mumpsimus Revisited

The generally accepted story of the word's origin is found in the 1517 writing of Richard Pace, a humanist and friend of Sir Thomas More.  Pace later became the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral in London.

Pace tells of a medieval monk who persisted in saying "quod in ore mumpsimus" instead of "quod in ore sumpsimus" when celebrating mass.  “Sumpsimus” is Latin for "we have taken," and the full phrase translates to "which we have taken into the mouth.”  “Mumpsimus” is just babble.

It isn't clear whether the well-seasoned monk was illiterate (though that is the general assumption) or whether the word was transcribed incorrectly in his copy of the mass.  What made this particular mistake memorable is that when a younger monk tried to correct the old guy, the older man replied that he had been saying it that way for over forty years and added, "I will not change my old mumpsimus for your new sumpsimus."

And that is how ‘mumpsimus’ came to mean: 

A. a person who persists in a mistaken expression or practice. 

B. an erroneous practice, use of language, or belief that is obstinately adhered to.

Not sure if you wanted to know, but now you do.

 

Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker

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Showing Genuine Interest in Others

When you show genuine interest in others, it shines a big attractive spotlight on you as someone with whom to cultivate a relationship.  We have all met people who are totally focused on themselves, their interests, and their goals.

Are they fun to talk to? 

Can you rely on them?

Are they people you want to help?

It is, of course, vital to know where you want to go in life.  But if you exclude others because of your self-absorption, you are actually slowing down your own progress.  Include others in your journey.  Work hard not to be egotistical or selfish.  Work diligently to increase the number of people you actively support and who support you. 

Helping others to progress is the proverbial two-sided coin.  It helps you to progress in equal measure.

“One of the most beautiful compensations of this life is that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” 

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker

 

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Dealing With Workplace Stress

Workplace stress is rarely part of anyone’s job description, but it is unfortunately part of most jobs.  It is tough to progress when we are stressed.  In fact, we feel stress when we feel we are being hindered from progressing. 

How to deal with or relate to the stressful stimuli in this high-tech, low-touch world of speed-of-light change is a vital and important topic that desperately needs discussion. 

Check this: Stress not only limits your progress; stress can and will kill you (if you don’t take action)! 

-       The American Medical Association says that stress is now the basic cause of over 60% of all diseases and illnesses (cancer, heart problems, etc.). 

-       Stress-related problems, according to the American Institute for Stress, are responsible for 75 % to 90 % of doctor visits.

-       A study conducted by the University of London found that unmanaged reactions to stress were more likely to lead to cancer and heart disease than either smoking cigarettes or eating foods high in the bad kind of cholesterol.

Virtually no part of the body escapes the ravages of prolonged negative stress.  Unfortunately, many of us make up our minds to “get serious” about our physical and mental health only when we become ill, suffer a heart attack, or experience some other form of breakdown.

 

Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker

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Knowledge is Power, Ask Questions

People love to talk about themselves, so master the art of asking questions and listening to the responses so you can ask relevant questions. If you can help them with a tidbit of information or link them to a resource, you will be seen as a caring and knowledgeable person. 

You can either make a suggestion related to what their needs are, or help them in some other way. The person will remember that you were able to help them out.

Plus you will gain knowledge.  Knowledge is power, and asking questions is seeking that power.  Asking people questions about themselves makes you stand out in their mind.

Longer pauses before questions lead to longer answers.  Taking these pauses makes you look professional and like you are really thinking and engaged, rather than just filling empty airtime.

It's okey-dokey to script your questions.  Just rehearse them enough so they don't sound scripted.

Here are eight solid questions and statements for starting conversations and delivering solid first impressions:

1.  How did you get into your line of work?

2.  What interested you about the profession?

3.  What do you like most about your industry?

4.  What major changes do you foresee in your industry?

5.  What has been happening in your industry? 

6.  What are the current trends?

7.  What have you found to be the best way of getting the word out  and promoting your business?

8.  I’m meeting people all the time, so tell me: How would I know if

    somebody I meet would be a good contact for you?

 

Good questions are far more difficult than good answers.”     -- Persian Proverb

Also add these to your conversational Rolodex: 

Tell me more. 

Please elaborate. 

What are your ideas about…? 

There is something I would like to ask you… 

What is your opinion on…?

Do not ask questions in rapid-fire succession.  This is not a Dragnet interrogation or a time for cross-examination.  Nor is it a time to relive your glory days on the debate team.  Avoid asking questions that are manipulative, boring, embarrassing, hostile, confrontational, insulting, or too intimate. 

When you approach people, they will start talking about something, so follow that with them and go with the flow.  Abrupt changes in conversational course cause confusion and frustration. 

Every question you ask makes a statement about you.  Only ask questions that make you look good (smart, concerned, with-it, etc.).

 

Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker

  

 

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Look for Something to Acknowledge People For

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Genuinely complimenting someone costs you nothing, but to the recipient, a heartfelt compliment and the feelings it generates cannot be bought at any price.  Recognition, encouraging words, and pats on the back are all excellent ways of making positive impressions, especially if done in front of others. 

Avoid general compliments as they may just seem like flattery, “sucking up.”  Much more powerful is a comment about something positive that person has done: compliment on behavior or achievements. 

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

-- Mother Teresa

 

Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker

 

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Get a Mentor

To keep yourself on track and consistently offering progress and earning trust, seek out a mentor.  Mentors help you see beyond your present vision by providing practical advice, ideas, and valuable concepts based on their unique experience and the wisdom gained from their failures, as well as their successes.  They can play a significant role in the life of a successful networker.  A person you respect can guide you and share their wisdom without reservation. 

Make a list of people you believe can impact your networking success. 

Who has earned your trust?

Find a way to connect with these people today.  Mentors should be role models of the kind of person you are working to become.  Be sure to get your advice from the veterans who have “been there, done that” and who sport the “I feel successful” T-shirt.   

A mentor can:

–  guide you in crafting networking goals.

–  make you accountable.

–  show you how to network

    (not just tell you or toss you an extremely well-put-together book on networking).

–  encourage you to network often.

–  offer you feedback and help you identify and overcome

Look for someone who:

–  listens to others and displays good communication skills.
–  demonstrates integrity and enthusiasm for their life and career. 

–  models continuous improvement and the importance of networking.

–  shares their mistakes and how they grew from these 

    learning experiences.

–  seeks opportunities for personal and professional growth.
–  stays informed by reading and attending seminars.

Use these high achievers wisely.  Do not abuse the privilege and start whining about how tough things are out there.  With this privilege comes responsibility.  You must bring value to the relationship.  If you start believing your short-term objectives are more important than your long-term relationships, you will betray the trust and do more harm than good.  Acknowledge your mentors as you progress.  Something as simple as a thank-you and a pat on the back can serve as their inspiration to continue being there for you. 

Continue to earn their trust.

 

Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker

 

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