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in Life AWARENESS Rss

Proactivity and Integrity

Posted on : 16-08-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized

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Following through means taking action and keeping your word. Below are some additional considerations regarding follow-through.

•  When you say you’ll do something, be scrupulous in meeting your commitment, whether to a client, supervisor, customer or direct-report. If you can’t deliver it, don’t promise it.

•  In job interviews and networking, rapid follow-up can mean the difference between landing the job and/or client. Hiring decisions are often made very quickly after interviews. And getting in contact with people soon after meeting them means they will remember you, increasing the likelihood they will eventually buy from you.

•  Be sure to send a thank you note after you close a sale or receive any courtesy. This will make you stand out from the others, inviting an ongoing relationship to develop, or continue to develop. Also, a short thank-you note gives you a great excuse to add anything you forgot to say in a meeting or interview, or to highlight details you only glossed over.

•  All top salespeople are masters at follow-through. Lack of follow-through is the primary element missing when sales are not keeping pace with leads generated. You may have hundreds of leads with a great deal of potential. But unless you follow through and actively market/sell to these leads, they will not turn into sales.

•  Following through after sales have been made also makes good financial sense. Getting business from new customers costs significantly more than securing additional business from existing customers.

When it comes to follow-through, something is better than nothing. It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing thing. The best is to follow-up as frequently and best as you can, a practice that can even affect productivity positively.

Organizing and Delegating

Posted on : 15-08-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized

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A good organizational system will support follow-through more than almost anything. If you are among the organizationally challenged, do one of two things:

1. Make a commitment, buy an organization book or two, reserve a weekend or a week, and just do it. Get organized once and for all. You’re not likely to follow through well, if at all, when the disorganization gremlin has hold of you. Getting organized is one of the biggest keys to success; not doing so is an extremely common and most unfortunate form of self-sabotage.

2. Hire someone to organize you and keep you that way. The investment will pay for itself when you begin following through more consistently.

Delegating should also be part of an organizational system. “Getting things done through others is a fundamental leadership skill,” according to Bossidy and Charan. “Indeed, if you can’t do it, you’re not leading.” Delegating is an efficient way to ensure that the greatest number of tasks, including follow-up tasks, get done in the shortest amount of time. In other words, if you want to be successful, don’t be afraid to dole out the workload to others. The key is to always think in terms of the big picture instead of focusing only on whatever task is in front of your face at the moment.

The Importance of Follow-Through

Posted on : 13-08-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized

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Whether you’re learning to swing a golf club, baseball bat or tennis racquet, coaches always emphasize the importance of follow-through. It’s not just hitting the ball that matters, it’s how you continue your swing once contact is made.

The same thing applies in job interviews, networking, sales and almost any work situation: without purposeful follow-through on your actions and interactions with others, you won’t really be able to reach your professional potential.

“Failure to meet deadlines, honor commitments, monitor staff, return calls and keep track of long-term projects is the most underrated cause of chaos and failure in business life,” writes Stephanie Winston in Organized for Success.

So often we feel we’ve completed a task because the action of it is “done,” but we underemphasize how powerful it is to continue developing, tracking and monitoring operations and relationships even after they’ve been set in place. As Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan note in Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, “Follow-through is the cornerstone of execution, and every leader who’s good at executing follows through religiously. Following through ensures that people are doing the things they committed to do, according to the agreed timetable.”

Qualities of Leadership

Posted on : 27-03-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized

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Because leadership is inextricably connected to who we are deep down, every leader has a different style. Some lead with their eccentric, charismatic selves on full, charming display. Other leaders bear no banners and sound no trumpets. But the inner qualities that make for effective leadership remain constant among all types of leaders:

Positive attitude. Leaders know they can alter their lives by altering their minds. Self-discipline, a sense of security and confidence blossom in the presence of a positive attitude.

A drive for learning—from others, from opportunities, from mistakes. Those who stop learning, stop growing.

Unwavering commitment. No great leader has ever lacked commitment. True commitment requires and inspires courage, passion, focus, initiative and responsibility.

Communication. Sharing knowledge is essential; even more important is listening. As President Woodrow Wilson said, “The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.”

Interest in others. The best leaders thrive on helping others achieve their personal best; they are motivated by a desire for the highest good for all rather than personal glory.

Imagine a world full of everyday leaders.

Leadership as a Way of Life

Posted on : 26-03-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized

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Too often, we believe that leadership is the domain of those with recognized authority, and the title to go with it: CEOs, association presidents, conductors, mayors.

“In a world that is changing as rapidly as this one, we need to think differently about leadership,” says Susan Collins, author of Our Children Are Watching: Ten Skills for Leading the Next Generation to Success. “Leading is not done by those few in high places, but by parents and teachers and managers and those governing—all working together to create the world that we want.”

When we dare to stand up for our beliefs or to follow through on our big dreams and ideas, when we act as though what we say and do in the world matters—matters greatly—we are leading.

In other words, leadership is a way of life, an expression of our fullest and best nature, our unique gifts. And it starts on the inside.

“Everything rises and falls on leadership,” writes John C. Maxwell, in his book The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. “If you can become the leader you ought to be on the inside, you will be able to become the leader you want to be on the outside.”

Everyday Leadership: It’s An Inside Job

Posted on : 23-03-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized

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David sparked a fruitful conversation around waste when he gently asked the cafeteria manager at his workplace whether food might be served without unnecessary containers or wrapping, unless requested.

Susan worked a whole year to bring a group of high school students from New Zealand to the United States to train other students in an effective form of peer mediation.

William began a weekly meeting for men at his church to fill the need for fellowship and support beyond the annual men’s retreat.

Nobody is likely to write a book about David, Susan or William. But these everyday leaders are creating just as much impact in their workplace, family and community as the captains of industry and politics described in the pages of New York Times bestsellers.

Indeed, the challenges and opportunities of today’s marketplace—of today’s world!—require that we all step forward and lead every day, become our own captains and find more of our own personal best to give to the world.

Is Good Leadership Boring?

Posted on : 14-03-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized

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Daniel Goleman’s recent book, Primal Leadership, suggests that a coaching style of leadership may best describe the rarest—and most essential—qualities of the quiet leader.

“The coaching style is the least-used tool in the leader’s toolkit,” says Goleman, “probably because it doesn’t look like leadership.”

Like a coach, a quiet leader can achieve breakthroughs by asking guided questions rather than giving orders or advice, and by getting to know each member of a team well enough to be able to craft work assignments to best suit where they are and where they’re going.

Yet it’s clear that quiet leadership is not so much about any particular management style as it is an attitude toward work and people—and life. Keeping your ego in check certainly seems to be a prerequisite, as is giving up your ambitions for being on the cover of Fortune.

As Henry Mintzberg, a professor of management studies at McGill University, commented in a recent article on quiet leadership, “Maybe really good management is boring.”

“Shhhh. Quiet Leadership: The High-Performance Secret”

Posted on : 12-03-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized

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The conventional image of a business leader is one we see all around us—the commanding, visionary person who takes charge in a time of crisis or transition and leads his or her company to victory over daunting odds. The tales of these “celebrity CEOs” and their successes make great reading—as does their failures.

Yet, for several years, a slowly growing body of knowledge and experience has begun to suggest that another approach—under the heading “quiet leadership”—may be ultimately more effective at achieving sustained high performance in organizations of all kinds.

While that may be good news for those of us who are not natural media stars, don’t be misled: Quiet leadership is a challenging management approach that requires a keen understanding of your business and the people in it to achieve its promise.

For starters, quiet leadership isn’t clearly defined. Certainly a bedrock of quiet leadership is leading by example, of eliciting the behavior you want by demonstrating it, rather than just telling others to do it. But a deeper understanding of what it means to be “quiet leader” is emerging as management researchers and business coaches delve into just why it is that certain types of leaders tend to produce better results, in more varied conditions, over longer periods of time. And quiet leadership isn’t just for the person at the top, but applies across the spectrum, from the leader to all levels of middle-management, from solo entrepreneurs and their team of subcontractors to small business owners with a small staff.

Every one of us has the opportunity to become a quiet leader.

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