Tag Archives: Strategic Planning

15 Traits of a Terrible Leader…from Their Employees

leadership skill conceptThere are lots of lists and do’s and don’t’s about “Leadership” from Leadership experts…but what about from their employees? So when I saw this article by Success.com it made me think about it a bit more and some of the insights were quite thought provoking.

The article, “15 Traits of a Terrible Leader” was sharing feedback from the YEC (Young Entrepreneurs Council) from different members. I thought it was a list worth sharing and discussing with your leadership team to see how well you would grade yourself and your team in these areas. In a time where more and more companies are hiring Millenials and others, this is a perspective we could all use…

  1. Lack of Transparency
  2. Not Listening
  3. Dismissing Ideas other than your own
  4. Valuing Experience over Potential
  5. Ego
  6. Working 24/7
  7. Lack of Empathy
  8. Forgetting about Leadership Development
  9. Being Overly Conservative
  10. Permitting Negative Gossip
  11. Poor Communication Strategy
  12. Closed-Mindedness
  13. Assigning Blame
  14. Inconsistency
  15. Being too Slow to Adapt

You can agree or disagree with this list, but either way, I think there is value in discussing each of these to see how you, as the leader of the organization, believe you are doing in these different areas. You may choose to dismiss some based on your business but I believe this is a worthwhile group exercise to have a lively debate among your leadership team. But as I tell the CEOs/Business Owners I work with all the time, the value is in the “Process of doing” as much or more than the actual outcome. Meaning, you might not change everything, but having a healthy discussion about where you stand and “why” in each area has tremendous value.

I believe it is also valuable to “assign a score” to each item on the list. A “current score” and a “desired score.” This means you might only have a desired score of a 5 in one category and a 10 in another category (on a scale of 1 – 10) but it is how well you think you and your leadership are doing that really matters. Look at the gaps…this is a classic “gap analysis” of where you want to be and where you are. Wherever there is a big gap, schedule a time in your next management meeting to discuss “Why” and this will make for a great…and helpful…discussion.

Best Business Books of 2014?

strategy + business logoIt’s that time of year where we all talk about books that we read this past year and which ones stood out in our minds. These lists will start pouring in over the next couple of months. I will share some of these with you along the way. But to give you an early start, here are the top Business Books for 2014 as put together by Strategy+Business. Let us know if you have read any of these and what you thought…good or bad…it will help the rest of us that haven’t read them get a better idea if it is worth our time our not. Here’s the list…by topical category…

Business Strategy

Marketing

Executive Self-Improvement

Organizational Culture

Innovation

Sustainability

Economics

So if you were looking for things to fill your time during the holiday season, this should solve that problem. Enjoy…and let me know what you think of these books or if you have some of your own you would like to add to the list. If you have read a book and want to give our readers a brief summary, please e-mail me (Blaine Millet) and I would be happy to put your review up as a blog post.

Jack Welch got it Right…even for Customers

Jack WelchThere is a famous quote I always loved from Jack Welch, famous CEO from General Electric. He said, “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, then the end is near.”

Today the rate of change is eclipsing most organizations and they can’t keep up. Competition is coming in from everywhere around the world and there aren’t any solid plans on how to deal with it. Competition is coming from places we never expected…primarily because someone else sees the inefficiencies in this particular industry. Product/Service competition is accelerating faster than we have ever seen in history. Commoditization is moving full speed ahead.

Step back from thinking about your product or service for a moment…despite all these competitive pressures. Step back and think about your Customers. Are your customers changing? Absolutely. Are the experiences they expect changing? Absolutely. Are you changing the experience you give to your customers? Most are not.

The one area you have complete and absolute control over is the experience you deliver to your customer. Complete control. You can choose what the experience should look like, feel like, smell like, and be to your customer…every day. And if your customers love your experience, the majority will forgo the latest and greatest advancements in product/service just to enjoy the experience they have with your company. This is the antithesis to commoditization…it is what customers want.

I turned Jack Welch’s quote in a slightly different direction focused on the customer, “If your customers are expecting a better customer experience than you are delivering, then the end is near.”

You have no control over the rate of change on the outside…it is just going to happen and accelerate. You do have control over what you change on the inside. I have always believed in the phrase, “Change what you have control to change and let others focus on what they can’t change.” Your customers aren’t a bad place to start. They are also probably worth the investment of time and innovation to create a totally awesome experience. The end doesn’t have to be near…it’s in your control.

Seahawks Winning Culture…

Seahawks logoBack in September at our CEOtoCEO breakfast we had the great privilege of having John Schneider speak to our group about the culture of the Seattle Seahawks. We all know how that story ended…with a SuperBowl victory!! But being a business leader you know there are lots of moving parts behind this to make it truly come together the way it did. A big one is CULTURE…

Last month we had the opportunity to have Steve Gandara from Excellent Cultures and Brad Root from GM Nameplate talk to us about “HOW” you can build this type of culture in your company or organization. Well, they took it a step further and married the Seahawks culture with their discussion about how to create this type of culture in a tremendous Four Part Series. We wanted to share these with you so you can get even more depth about how to create an excellent culture in your own organization.

Excellent CulturesIn PART ONE of The Seahawks Superbowl Winning Culture, they talked about 4 key elements that help them differentiate themselves from their competition. Here is their list…

  1. The level of intensity with which they play
  2. The voracious competitive spirit that seems to drive them
  3. The youthful talent of the players
  4. And most of all how much fun they have playing the game

In PART TWO they talked about how confidence played such a key role in their achievement. Two key ingredients that helped make up this winning culture were…

  1. Humility
  2. Confidence vs. Arrogance

These two components were far bigger drivers of their successful culture than just being a “great place to work.” There is a great deal to culture and it starts with the leadership of the organization. Pete Carroll was a master at creating this culture and allowing the players to do what they do best.

In PART THREE of the series, they focused on the internal relationships that go on between the leadership of the team and organization and the players. Yes, there is a definite relationship that has to be established and creating one that allows everyone to do what they do best is critical if you are to achieve the ultimate prize of being Superbowl champions. Two areas they discussed were…

  1. Positive Competition
  2. Superior Teams are built on high quality relationships

All of our organizations are “teams” and as such these are very applicable to everyone.

In the FOURTH (and final) PART of their series, they focused the TEAM aspects of the culture. How do they build a winning “team” that works so well together and delivers the results they wanted. One of the key aspects to accomplishing this is “Proper Goal Orientation.” They talk about this and how the Seahawks used it masterfully in their efforts to be the most successful team in the NFL this year.

So we highly recommend you read all four parts and see how you might compare to a team that was obviously successful in the most watched Superbowl in history. This was not only an exciting day for all of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, but it is a series of events we can all learn from as we lead our companies. Special thanks to Steve Gandara and Excellent Cultures for putting these blog posts together and allowing us to share them with you. And as usual…please share your comments and thoughts below.

 

Complimentary Culture Assessment

For those of you who were fortunate enough to attend our CEOtoCEO breakfast this past week, you heard an excellent presentation and discussion about Culture…the Art and the Science. We want to thank Steve Gandara from Excellent Cultures and Brad Root from GM Nameplate for giving us the real world look at what it’s like to build and run a company in a culture that is all on the same page and working together.

To help you get started in this process or to see how it might be helpful for you, Excellent Cultures is offering a Complimentary Assessment to CEOtoCEO members. You can get yours by clicking on this name, COMPLIMENTARY ASSESSMENT and I understand it takes less than 10 minutes. If you get a chance to do it and want to share your experience with others, please feel free to click the comment link below and let us know what you think.

Pat Chestnut talks about Healthcare Reform

During our CEOtoCEO breakfast in late November, we had the privilege of having Pat Chestnut, CEO of AAOA Healthcare speak to us about the Healthcare Reform Act. As you saw from an earlier post, he talked about a variety of aspects relating to business owners and top executives of small to middle market companies in… Continue Reading

It’s That Time of Year…STRATEGY

Whether you were busy building a budget or strategy in the fourth quarter last year or you put it off until the first quarter of this year, one thing is for certain…this is the time of year to “execute” that strategy! When I ran a consulting practice at Arthur Andersen in the late ‘90s one… Continue Reading

Strategy or Strategic Plan…they aren’t the same!

The word “STRATEGY” is bantered and thrown around in many of the conversations today among top executives, especially CEOs. But what does it really mean? And are they actually talking about the same thing? I don’t think so… Years ago when I first started doing “Strategic Planning” as part of my consulting role at Arthur… Continue Reading

To innovate you need to be “Remarkable”

During one of our CEO Innovation Team meetings we talked about differentiation. Not what most think about just having a product or service that is slightly different or better than the competition, but truly differentiated – both in product/service and experience. The concept of “Being Remarkable” was introduced by a well-known thought leader in both… Continue Reading

How Blue (Ocean) Are You?

No I am not asking about your politics!  I am referring to the Blue Ocean Strategy that presents a theory, tools, and frameworks to allow your company to break away from the competition and create a new market space. As part of our Innovation Team session last week participating CEOs collaborated on how to create… Continue Reading