Why I Love LinkedIn Connected App and You Should Too!

In my experience as a leadership development expert, I have found the single skill, when used correctly, that stands above all others to solidify a foundation for success.  In fact, I even put together a book about it.  That one skill is connection.  

Knowing Is Not Enough

2013 State of the Industry ASTD.org Infographic

The Association for Talent Development (Formerly ASTD), estimates U.S. organizations spent approximately $164.2 billion on employee learning in 2012. Of this total direct learning expenditure, 61 percent ($100.2 billion) was spent internally. – 2013 State of the Industry Report, ASTD.org
Organizations want their people to be EFFECTIVE in their roles, produce MEASURABLE RESULTS, and create SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES.   For one to acquire the skills necessary to accomplish these objectives, there have historically been two basic tracks:
  1. On The Job Training (OJT)  “I had to figure this out on my own, so can you!” Or,
  2. Send Them To A Class “I don’t have time to teach you, so I’m going to send you to a seminar/workshop/class/conference and let somebody ‘fix you’!”

The first option can be quite expensive, for reasons I will not fully get into today. Let’s just agree that a “let’s cross our fingers and hope” plan is kind of like hoping to win the lottery when you never actually purchase a ticket.

The second choice, as I have observed many, many times in practice, is effective at creating awareness of what people should do.  The disconnect, however, lies in the all-to-often lack of a support system surrounding that person while they learn how to apply the techniques and practices from the training session(s) into their actual job on a consistent basis.  Watching a “how-to” video on YouTube is much different than doing what it takes to achieve your desired outcome.

$164.2 Billion is a LOT OF MONEY to try to change people’s behavior.  At “IdeaCharger”, we focus on ways to implement deliberate, impactful change for and maximize your Return on Investment (ROI) for your development dollars.

The third track, where I work with my clients, is to generate a natural, easy-to-implement plan with specific steps, practices and intent to easily turn the “what” into the “how” in a seamless manner and deliver measurable results.

Here’s your free IdeaCharger for the day:

Focus on the Connection

Social media is not the answer to all of the world’s problems.  Yes, impactful movements have begun with a single “tweet”. Families and friends stay connected on “Facebook” (Here’s why I broke up with Facebook…sort of).  LinkedIn, however, is interesting.

On the surface, LinkedIn is just a version of your resume’ or C.V. posted online for others to find.  In a previous article, I discussed the value of going beyond that “hey, we went to high school together” connection of Facebook and how to turn it into something more meaningful (e.g. business). The what (creating a profile on LinkedIn) is the “easy part”. The magic lies in what you DO with your LinkedIn network.  Today, I introduce you to the next critical step in building those connections

The Secret Sauce of LinkedIn in 5 Easy Steps

  1. LinkedIn Connected App IconInstall “LinkedIn Connected” on your smart phone or tablet. (It’s in the App Store -at this writing I did not find it yet for Android, and,like LinkedIn-which you should also install, it is FREE.)
  2. Sign in to the app.
  3. Open the app every day. [The app will suggest people from your network with something noteable (job change, professional anniversary, birthday, etc…) about members of your network.
  4. Send individual notes to them (It’s simple, just click the link).
  5. Repeat tomorrow.

Watch Your Connections Deepen & Solidify Into Opportunities

The most seasoned salespeople never cold call.  They focus on the connection.  Contact your customers, clients, and members of your sphere of influence just to say ‘Hello!’. Better yet, take the online cues and send them a handwritten note, put it in an envelope and mail it to them.   NOBODY ELSE, I will repeat, NOBODY ELSE IS DOING THAT ANYMORE, and it will set you apart.

You don’t always have to be “the guy/gal”, but you should ALWAYS be the first person that comes to their mind when they need to do some business.  CONNECT!

What Other Ways to YOU Build Connections?  Share your IdeaChargers in the Comments section below.

The Secret to Becoming Memorable

You look down, they know you’re lying and up, they know you don’t know the truth. Don’t use seven words when four will do. Don’t shift your weight, look always at your mark but don’t stare, be specific but not memorable, be funny but don’t make him laugh. He’s got to like you then forget you the moment you’ve left his side. And for God’s sake, whatever you do, don’t, under any circumstances…

– Rusty Ryan, Oceans 11, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2001

The 2001 remake of Ocean’s Eleven is one of my favorite, go-to movies whenever I just want to relax and be entertained. The witty banter, funky music and…well, who doesn’t enjoy a good ol’ Las Vegas story?

In the above scene, Rusty Ryan, played by Brad Pitt, offers advice to Linus (Matt Damon) just before he steps into their latest con scheme.  The goal is for Linus to “sell” the con, and put into place yet another important piece of the complicated scheme to rob a Las Vegas casino.

Certainly, I am not endorsing your undertaking an elaborate con.  Rather, I ask what are you doing, deliberately, to sell your own capabilities to those around you to make a legitimate, positive impact toward achieving what you deserve?

Make This Year Different

DiceMaking change is difficult.  No doubt you have found changing old habits, processes, systems and perspectives always less than an easy task. Making change successful, however, is more than just rolling the dice.  Here are some simple IdeaChargers to get you started:

  • Read More
    Become a student of the world.  Pick a topic-any topic.  Learn about something you know very little about. Hell, read a novel instead of yet another business book.  Just read.
  • “Wing It” Less
    There is no substitute for experience.  There is also nothing greater than being prepared BEFORE you need that experience.
  • Stop Repeating What You Know
    Offer more insight into what you know.  Quotes are convenient. Knowledge is power. Opinion sets you apart.
  • Build Connections Before You Need Them
    Spend 20 minutes per day reaching out to people you already know.  Find out what/how they are really doing and connect them with someone else, then, step back. [This is a longer-term strategy for results and one which averagely successful people most often overlook.]
  • Be You
    You have a gift.  You are unique.  At all costs, do not let your gift become a commodity.  Dig in and get to know yourself, first.  Then, share it with the world!

New years resolutions are convenient, but unnecessary.  The time to begin your own path to success starts now.  Practice the above five concepts above, and watch what happens.  Here is my promise:

You Will Be More Memorable!


Are You Already A Step Ahead?

Share how one or more of the above points have made an impact on you already.  Or, hold yourself accountable by posting a comment to put how you plan to make yourself memorable.

One Step You Must Take Before You Quit Facebook

While en route to earning the rank of Eagle Scout, I became indebted to Mr. Knight, my Scoutmaster. Whenever I needed an extra dose of encouragement, he was right there to push me toward the goal.  At times, many of us who each achieved the rank of Eagle under his guidance were not even aware that we needed a push.  Nonetheless, he was there.  Just in case I never said it, “Thank you, Mr. Knight!”

As an adult, I have long credited the path to Eagle as the single best leadership training have ever encountered.  I still list “Eagle Scout” on my resume’, include that fact in my speech introductions, and even have it listed in my LinkedIn profile.  Which brings me to the topic of this article.

I am bored with Facebook.

Recently, I downloaded my entire Facebook account and took a look at all of the information I have volunteered to Zuckerburg and Co. over the years.  Anything I have ever “Liked” since opening my account a decade or so ago, every photo I’ve uploaded, rant I’ve shared or update I have posted is all there.  I’ve told Facebook a lot about me….at least, the “me” of that particular moment in time.

Sure.  Maybe I “liked” a page to get entered into a contest.  Perhaps I thought a topic was interesting that day, and never gave it another thought afterwards.  Whatever the reason, it’s all there.  No harm, right?  Fast-forward to today.

  • I no longer understand how in the world the world’s largest social media platform decides what I see or don’t see in my “News Feed” (or whatever it is called these days).
  • Posts from people I don’t even know show up in my feeds because some algorithm seems to think I’d be interested.
  • Chronology is merely a suggestion anymore.
  • The ads….Oh, the ads. Sure, I know the platform doesn’t cost me any cash to use, but sometimes I feel like I might have sold my soul just to occasionally see an update from a high school acquaintance I haven’t actually seen or spoken to in over 20 years.
  • My “business page”…I’m fairly convinced nobody has noticed I turned it off about a month ago.  It had simply become a distraction to me, and apparently nobody else seemed to notice.

My Facebook “Last Will” and “Testament”

I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be on Facebook.  I mean, I will probably cave somewhat to the unbelievable “social pressure” to simply be there, and occasionally use the simplicity of logging into some more useful site using my Facebook login credentials, but I’m really losing interest.  Except for one thing.  My connections.

Today I did what any well-meaning netizen would do in preparation for leaving this social media world…I went to Google and searched for ways to preserve my connections.  After all, it took me YEARS to track all of those people down.

After a quick search, viewing of a 3 1/2 minute video on how to import your Facebook connections into LinkedIn (a platform I MUCH prefer today – though many of it’s recent “enhancements” have it looking more like FB every day).

Here’s the video.  You should try it!

Just before noon I uploaded my FB connections into LinkedIn and walked away.  Now, just 4 hours later, I’ve added over 60 “new” connections to LinkedIn.

If you are going to spend time on social media sites, at least make some money doing it!

A great number of people, some of whom I don’t even know how or why we were connected on Facebook, immediately connected with me on LinkedIn.  Think about it.  What’s more valuable to your success?  Knowing what bar your buddy’s buddy visited with his rowdy college friends last weekend or where he/she works, their title, and business-related interests?  Besides, YOU WILL SPOT THE OPPORTUNITY TO FORGE A NEW CLIENT RELATIONSHIP with a new client long before your buddy from high school EVER will.  Why not go directly to the source, share an old story from the past about your common friend, and get some BUSINESS along the way?

If you have made it this far into this article, THANK YOU.  If you are here because you received some type of automated email from me, my strategy is working.  Oh, and when I call you with that story from the one time when our friend ____________________________….You had better have a great story about them in return, so I know I can trust you enough to do business with you!

WHO SAID BUSINESS COULDN’T BE SOCIAL, TOO?

How To Fix America

GroverClevelandPopularVoteMapAs I write this post, it is Election Day in the United States.  This particular election is dubbed the “mid-term” election, as it is the midpoint of the current presidential term.  For many states, this is a key opportunity to set the stage on both the federal and state levels of government for the opportunity to make changes for the next two years.  Hope. Change. Better. Worse.  You have heard it all before, right?  Well, sort of.

Have a conversation with any toddler, anywhere in the world, and you will get an example of “cause and effect” thinking.  While the child’s brain develops, they begin to learn that when they do “this” then “that” happens.  Of particular note in our house, for example, is when bad behavior results in loss of privileges like watching her favorite shows on the iPad. [Who knew a two-year-old in 2014 would be a fan of the 80’s sitcom A.L.F and the comedy classic I Love Lucy…at least THIS week?]

As an adult, another truth begins to emerge.  Watch any well-written television drama, read a great novel, or simply pay attention to the decisions you make in your own life and it becomes quite evident that “what happens to us” is more a collective result of multiple actions, rather than a simple “cause and effect” result.

Enter the “disconnect”

We have a problem.  This water-based marble hurling through space that we call “Earth” isn’t sitting still, nor is its future completely dependent upon a single decision by any one person.  If you watch the political ads in any campaign cycle, you’d think the End Times were upon us…and it is all the fault of ONE PERSON–namely whomever the political opponent the ad’s producers seem to be attempting to discredit in favor of their own candidate.  I hate to break it to you, people, but it just isn’t that simple.

What we need in this country is innovation.  Perhaps it is YOUR IDEA that has been cooking in your brain over the past few weeks, months or years.  Maybe YOUR COMPANY has collected the talent, resources and capital necessary to launch the NEXT BIG THING, but you cannot seem to get it launched due to that ONE OBSTACLE in your way.  Or could it simply be that your mojo is in need of a reboot?

Here are the facts:

  • Infrastructure is horribly expensive and often already out-of-date by the time it is actually put into service.
  • Employers feel squeezed by regulations, lack of employee loyalty and global economic pressures.
  • Employees feel squeezed by an ever-connected workplace, a lack of employer loyalty, and wages that have simply NOT kept up with the true cost of living in America today.
  • The Democrats blame the Republicans.
  • The Republicans blame the Democrats.
  • Lobbyists blame everyone, but most importantly….
  • It has ALWAYS BEEN THIS WAY—You are out of excuses!

Turn off your cable news stations.  Stop buying into the hype and Niagra Falls-like bombardment of misinformation coming at you today.  The solution IS SIMPLE.

Figure out what YOU want, need and are willing to work for.  Let’s roll up our sleeves and PLUG IN YOUR IDEA CHARGER.  It’s time to move ahead and make success happen for YOU.  It’s really not up to anyone else.

DAMN THE TORPEDOS!

Sound off below and share you are going to DO FIRST to change your trajectory and get yourself back on track! You are not alone. Let’s get you POWERED UP! Tell us what you need!

Why Social Media Is Like A Gun Range

Have you noticed the trend of people talking about their social media following like they are on a firing range?  The talk seems to be all about whose weapon [follower list] is bigger.  Well, excuse me, but **ahem** “bigger” is not always “better”.

Allow Me To Explain

I’m not much of a hunter, but I do understand the difference between a shotgun and a rifle.  [Gun enthusiasts note: I just said I wasn’t a munitions expert, so please forgive the following explanation if it fails to meet your qualifications….this is a metaphor, not a weapons drill –please don’t shoot me!]  In short, when fired, a shotgun unleashes a torrent of pellets all hurled simultaneously (and quite explosively) in the general direction of a specified target.  Since there are multiple projectiles, the “pattern” covers more ground, thus increasing the odds an intended target (such as a bird) would be hit/killed by said pellets.  A rifle, on the other hand, fires a single projectile, with more precision, and significantly concentrated stopping power, often more appropriate for a deer, bear, or other large animal.  The point being:  As a general rule, I would not recommend taking a shotgun on an elephant hunt, nor using a rifle to dove hunt.  Neither would likely produce the intended result. [Note: I’m not that fond of people who hunt elephants, but do find dove to be quite tasty on the grill.]

rifle target shot
Rifle – One shot, one bullet.
Shotgun - One shot, many pellets
Shotgun – One shot, many pellets

The Point

Having more pellets firing out of the barrel of your gun at once (shotgun) may not yield the intended result a single bullet is capable of producing from a rifle.  To phrase it another way, a more finely tuned, focused, specific marketing effort will generally yield a larger, more intentional result (Read: Land a bigger client that precisely needs exactly what you sell, the way you deliver it to solve a specific problem or pain said client would prefer to eliminate) than a broad, wide-sweeping “let’s see what we get” approach is likely to produce.

There are a lot of strategies to just “build up your number of social media followers”. I argue, though, that a targeted, specific and much smaller following also can have tremendous value, especially if that following more closely meets the type of value your practice, services, or products seek to provide.

Of course,  if you could build a tremendously large number of rabid fans, most of which are absolutely relevant to your area of expertise….now THAT could be even more powerful! For THAT, you must focus not only on the hunt, but building a CONNECTion, once you draw in your prey…

Below, tell us more about YOUR online connections.  Do you allow ANYONE to become your “friend” or “connection”?  Are you more deliberate?  Do you have a policy?  How does that differ between different social media platforms?

Cover Shot for CONNECT! BookScott Cooksey is the author of CONNECT! 77 Idea Chargers to Generate High Voltage Results, Today!   Learn more and order copies for your teams and networking colleagues HERE.

The Dirty Truth About Leverage

Collaboration is not selling out. It’s leverage.*

The Dirty Truth

There is a lot of “conventional wisdom” that…well…simply does not sit well with me. As someone who has facilitated hundreds of leadership workshops, I can tell you a great deal of those bits of “wisdom” are alive and well in the businesses of every size, industry, classification, and postal code I have been lucky enough to visit.
In this post, however, I’m going to lay one on you that is an absolute truth. Are you ready for it? Here you are:

100% of “zero” is still “zero”.

Just around the turn of the century (e.g. When the stock market peaked in 2000), I shifted the focus of my finance career from selling retirement plan services for a regional bank to working as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch. At the time, Merrill was known for having perhaps one of the most robust training programs of any Wall Street brokerage firm. Shortly after my arrival, however, there was a dramatic shift in several key areas.

    1. The stock market “bubble” popped.
    2. Our office’s Regional Vice President left to run a different office for the firm. (Leaving us without clear, local leadership for several months).
    3. Merrill Lynch’s culture began to crumble as the very training program I had signed up for was gutted in early 2001 by a new head of the U.S. brokerage division (the same person who later was named as one of the “Worst CEOs Ever” by CNBC, primarily for his role in the financial debacle that led to Merrill’s forced purchase by Bank of America c. 2007…but that is another story entirely).

To be fair, business moves in cycles. I just happened to make a significant career move to “the right place at the wrong time”. It happens. Perhaps it has happened to you. Hopefully, you learned some lessons from the mess you encountered, and have moved on to find greater success. If you are on that journey back, now, then this next piece of the story is especially for you.

The Reality

Bad EmployeeDuring my time as an adviser in the financial services industry, I was spoon fed a pretty hefty dose of  “scarcity mentality”. As a trainee, we were often lied to by other producers offering to “help us get some business in the door” before our licenses were approved by bringing in accounts for our family and friends now, not realizing they were simply scraping the first year’s production credits off of the incoming assets, leaving us with not much to work with when they eventually DID turn the accounts over.

A culture of fear, mistrust and urban legend combined to keep us uncertain of who we might turn to for good advice and guidance. So, most of us did what we thought was best. We kept our heads down and did the best we could figure out to do on our own. Truth be told, I was able to apply much of what I’d learned to help build a quite healthy practice once I took my talents elsewhere, but the real lesson wasn’t clear until much later.

The Lesson

If you study very successful business people, you’ll find something interesting. They seem to basically be insulated from many of the ebbs and flows of economics, instead capitalizing on the opportunities that down economic turns provide. I don’t mean to suggest these folks never lose money, I simply draw out that their lifestyles are not as impacted by the ups and downs the media highlights on a daily basis.
In fact, some of the most consistently successful people I know cannot really describe WHAT they do, as much as that they always seem to have a project moving forward. How is that possible? They have leverage. They have a different way of looking at the world. Instead of trying to win in a zero-sum game, they focus on building win-win solutions for the benefit of all involved.

The Challenge

FREE SIGNI want you to adopt an “abundance mentality”.  Here’s are a few easy tips to make the shift:

  • Let go of the feeling that you have to “control it all”, and shift your emphasis on contributing in a way that leverages your talent toward a greater goal.
  • Start splitting deals you find with successful people from whom you can learn. They will give you the road map to learning a skill you want or need to develop, and you’re compensating them for their time and mentorship by sharing in the result. Maybe it’s money. Perhaps it is happiness. Your fellowship or teaching them a skill they want to develop as a trade may be all that need be exchanged.
  • Focus on helping people eliminate pain from their lives by connecting them with people who have strengths that compliment what they are able to do for themselves.
  • Learn more about your customers and clients. Instead of selling to them, bring them customers and clients. They will often repay you with referrals to YOUR business. When that happens, repeat the cycle and you will truly see exponential leverage work in your favor!

Share Your Success

Take a minute to share a success story below by answering this question: How have you used leverage in a positive way to grow your business, improve relationships, or find joy in your life?

Cover Shot for CONNECT! Book

*Find this and many other connection hacks in the book: CONNECT! 77 Idea Chargers to Generate High Voltage Results TODAY!

How to Leverage Your Expertise Into Profits

Be an inch wide and be prepared to go a mile deep with your target market.
“Good enough” simply will not cut it, anymore!

Volunteering to serve on the board of a professional association takes time.  Professionally, your time was a value. Perhaps you are “worth” (professionally speaking, of course) $80,000+ a year.  Maybe you charge clients $350 an hour.  If you are really in-demand, perhaps your clients pay you a six-figure retainer, just in case they need your expertise to solve a problem! No matter the amount, your skills have value, right?

boardroomBoard service is often more give than take.   Long hours, un-reimbursed expenses, and the added stress of carrying the responsibility to keep said organization on the right path often take a toll on your energy (or worse, your own business & family).  When you serve, however, the journey of your tenure is often repaid by way of making new friendships, establishing connections you might otherwise have never made, and often learning that “one little nugget” of information that has eluded you for years.

A couple of years ago, my friend and colleague Lois Creamer (Visit her at www.BookMoreBusiness.com) was in town to speak at our local chapter of the National Speakers Association.  As has become customary for our chapter, the night preceding the monthly meeting includes a dinner with the visiting speaker and members of the board, along with their spouses – as an informal way to help the presenter get a feel for the chapter & enjoy some time with fellow speaking professionals.  What typically happens, though, between the laughter, connections, and sharing of stories from the road, is the bubbling through of constructive ideas in a rare, one-on-one session with an expert.  That is the real payment for the job, and it is awesome!

That night with Lois, the conversation turned toward the inevitable, “So, what do you speak about?”  For the first time that night, a few of the attendees were speechless (funny, if you consider the association). What followed next for some was a collection of responses so convoluted even the best cryptographers would have struggled. Not to be outdone, others delivered a concise retort so vague and broadly worded Lois STILL did not understand “what they meant” any more than the first group.  Then it came to me.  “Well, Lois,” I began, “What I want people to understand …” Then she stopped me and gave me this:  “Scott.  When someone asks what you do, I want  your topic to be an inch wide…and a mile deep.  Your expertise needs to be obvious and relevant right away. When you cast too wide a net, the listener hears a lack of conviction and does not understand why they should hire you over someone else more specific.”   We worked on it after the dinner, and came to a confident, concise statement that says “I work with financial services professionals and sales teams to enable them to build lasting, profitable relationships with their customers and clients.”  [A statement which conveys my expertise in a way that solves the kind of problems my ideal client might be willing to pay to address.  You’ll have a chance to try out a statement of your own in a minute…Keep reading.]

Her point:

Equilibrium
floato via Compfight

Be an expert. Vague does not sell.  Audiences, buyers, and the people with whom you network do not have time (or the incentive) to work through everything you have said, just to try to figure out what you really meant or why you are relevant for what they need.  Do people really KNOW how you can help them solve THEIR problems?  (This is critical if your livelihood depends on it!)

You have an expertise.

No matter your job title or professional role, you know something better than someone else. Your expertise may have nothing that directly ties to what you do at work, but may lie in a passion.  Do you like to cook?  Maybe you are into running, cycling, or working out.  Perhaps you are the world’s greatest avoid-er of commitment.  Whatever your talent, draw a connection back to your profession. (e.g. Chefs take raw ingredients to create wonderful dishes.  Explain how you do the same, figuratively, with your clients.) Regardless of how the recognition manifests itself, deep down, we all want to be respected for our knowledge of some task, skill, craft or ability. For you, it may be mission critical that others be so confident in your expertise that they are willing to pay to access that expertise.  It is your job to connect the dots for them, so you become easy to hire.

Be clear about your area of knowledge.

If you are not sure what that is, ask 20 people whom you trust to tell you an honest response.  Your expertise may not be what you think it is.  Should that be the case, I challenge you to consider how that might shift how you approach what you do or how you do it -leveraging that expertise.

Grow confident in your expertise.

Continue to refine your practice and knowledge in your gifted area.  It will open doors for you.  Most importantly, your enjoyment and satisfaction in how you spend your time just might become even more rewarding for you.  What a great repayment for just being “you”.

PLUG IN:

Give it some thought and share in the comments to this article what your reflection or research says might be your own area of expertise.  If you have a website relating to who you are or what you do that allows you to leverage that expertise, please include a link to your website / Pinterest page / YouTube channel / Twitter account in the body of your reply below.  Let’s connect a network of experts and see what happens!

Three ways to turn your log-jammed meeting into a productive jam session

“Sounds like somebody’s got a case of the Mondays.”
– Temp, Office Space (1999)

Why do you attend your last team meeting? If your answer was “because it’s Monday, and we always start off the week in our team meeting”, I’m going to ask you to stop. Just stop. Remember what Vanilla Ice taught the world in his hit “Ice, Ice Baby”…

collaborate & listenCreative Commons License rick via Compfight

STOP.

For the love of all that is productive, I am giving you permission to just STOP. Stop having meetings “because we are supposed to”. Or “because three years ago, someone put a recurring, weekly meeting on my calendar with no end date and I just keep going”. Perhaps you attended it because you “thought I was supposed to have a meeting to ____________ (insert some meaningless “conventional wisdom” here).”

  • Have meetings with purpose. Unless that purpose is specifically to brainstorm or be a creative session, the meeting’s purpose should already be known.
  • Stop telling people they will find out about what the meeting is about in the meeting. If you don’t issue an agenda to requested participants, along with any necessary documentation to fully understand what you’ll be covering, then do not expect anyone to attend.
  • The purpose of your meeting should be to confirm or debate a decision that has already been made. If you shared the details in the step above, the meeting may well be over before it begins…and that is a good thing. Relevant, important debate is given space to occur. Time wasted in meetings where everyone already agrees and understands their role is avoided. Productive activities prevail.

COLLABORATE.

Presuming your meeting actually DID need to occur (e.g. There is need for some debate, challenge or creativity session) it is your responsibility to show up with an open mind.

  • Be vulnerable. If you think the concepts discussed (either in your meeting or the pre-info) are headed down the wrong path, speak up. You may be right. Then again, you may be wrong. You will be able, however, to move forward knowing you gave your dissenting opinion some air to breathe.
  • Creativity needs space. Often the road to the idea you need goes through a very bad place. Discussions, brainstorming sessions and creative endeavors often find at least a few rabbit trails that take you off course. Go with them. Explore the absurd solutions. You don’t have to DO them, but they just might get you (not surprisingly) to the innovative, new possibilities you seek.

LISTEN.

Leadership is never about you. I know…people SAY great leaders do great things- and they often do- however, the best leaders are those who inspire people around them to bring their personal best each and every day.

  • Admit your addiction – The first step to recovering is to first admit you have a problem. Get your ego out of the way and focus on building meaningful connection with people around you. Inspire THEM. Leadership is earned through action, not by title.
  • Before opening your mouth, ask these three questions:
  1. Does it need to be said?
  2. Does it need to be said by me?
  3. Does it need to be said by me right now?

Sometimes there is great value in simply keeping your mouth shut.  Especially if you are (or inspire to become) a leader.

So there you have it. Three simple steps you have heard since middle school. Stop. Collaborate. Listen.

Light up the stage and wax a chump like a candle…Dance!”
– Vanilla Ice, “Ice, Ice Baby”

 Scott Cooksey and the IdeaCharger team work with organizations and leaders who want to (re)charge sustainable leadership and results-generating teams.  Contact IdeaCharger today to learn how.

When is it going to be MY time?

This very second, because you decided it was time, is YOURS!  Now is the time to set aside the self-doubt that has been holding you back and take deliberate action to achieve the abundant life you have always wanted.

Stay tuned here at IdeaCharger for the details. Your time is NOW!

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