Tag Archives: idea charger

2016 Gulf Coast Symposium on HR Issues – Notes


The 2016 Gulf Coast Symposium on HR Issues is underway, and I appreciate your attending one of my sessions.  As promised, this is where you will find slides, bonus materials and more, for the two sessions delivered on May 12, 2016 in Houston, TX.

No Budget, No Problem!
How Every Leader Can Continue to Develop Talent in ANY Economic Environment (9:00 AM, May 12, 2016)

As promised, this is where you can find the complete slide deck from my presentation.  It will be posted within a few days of the conclusion of the 2016 Symposium (Hey, I didn’t want you to look ahead at all of the awesome graphics, hugely important research findings and info BEFORE you had a chance to experience the session….Thanks for understanding!)

Until then, here is a list of the NINE KEY ACTIONS OF CONNECTED LEADERS.  Watch this site for details of a forthcoming podcast episode of the Success Charger Podcast (it’s free) where we will dig even DEEPER into each Key Action. (If you’ll scroll up to the upper right-hand corner of this page and leave your email address, we’ll notify you when the next episode is ready to go!)

  1. Always Demonstrate Empathy
  2. Focus on Outcomes – Not Hours
  3. Share Accountability
  4. Become a N.I.N.J.A.
  5. PRO-active > RE-active Coaching
  6. Maximize Transparency
  7. Encourage Innovation
  8. Develop Presentation Skills
  9. Model a Learning Culture

How to Experience Championship Results in Turbulent Times (3:45PM, May 12, 2016)

If you were with us in the Unique Zone at the 2016 Symposium, you know that this wasn’t a PowerPoint presentation AT ALL.  In fact, it was less of a “breakout session” and more of an EXPERIENCE. I hope you  had as much fun learning at the session as I did putting it together for you!

We’ll do our best to share some of the key elements here and I’ll load up the “promo PowerPoint” that was sent into the Symposium organizers ahead of time, too. Again, we’ll get it up on the site soon.


In the meantime, if you like to hear great stories, I invite you to check out my free, weekly show “The Success Charger Podcast with Scott Cooksey” available to stream or download from SuccessChargerPodcast.com , iTunes, Stitcher Radio and other fine podcasting sites around the interwebs.

You might especially like Episode 38 where I interview John Verdone of DDI (Development Dimensions International) about why he believes EVERYONE should become a facilitator.

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.

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.


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!